Do you have cigarette smokers in your household?
If so, opening windows often fails to completely eliminate the lingering effects of smoke in the home.
If you smoke or live with smokers, you should buy an air purifier for smoke to minimize the effects of the smell and the health impact of passive smoking.
This filtration system works by sucking air inside through membrane filters. You’ll usually find activated carbon filters and catalysts to remove smoke while the standard HEPA filters also work wonders to combat all the tiniest particles floating around in the air of your home.
Air purifiers can serve as a highly effective line of defense against cigarette smoke while also controlling other unpleasant odors whether from pets or from cooking.
The best air purifiers for removing smoke must have 2 filters as standard:
- Activated Carbon Filter
- True HEPA filter
The HEPA medium will get rid of 99.97% of pathogens down to a size of 0.3 microns. Indeed, to qualify as a true HEPA filter, this is the standard it needs to achieve when tested under stringent laboratory conditions. This part will also get rid of visible cigarette smoke.
The smell is taken care of with the activated carbon medium.
Before we launch into our reviews a word of warning…
Air purifier intended for cigarette smoke removal can certainly help to eliminate the noxious smell of smoke from the air. There’s no doubt they do that job to the highest standard. If you’ve smokers in the house, though, there’s another problem they can’t deal with. Smoke penetrates fabric from carpet and curtains through to drapery and furniture. If you really want a house free of the smell of smoke, you simply need to stop smoking indoors.
That does nothing to minimize the need for an air purifier in general, though. All of the models we highlight for you today work to do far more than just combat cigarette smoke.
Does anyone in your home suffer from allergies or asthma?
Do you have pets indoors kicking up allergens and dander?
If so, the best air purifiers keep those sensitivities safeguarded by removing even the tiniest particles from the air, those invisible to the naked eye but perfectly capable of finding their way into your lungs.
For a powerful opponent in the quest for clean and beautiful smelling air indoors, there’s simply no substitute for the best air purifier.
Without further ado, we’ll explore the cream of the crop we tested bringing you the 13 leading models from the batch…
Table of Contents
I. Top 13 Best Air Purifiers for Cigarette Smoke Removal
1. Our Pick: Blueair Classic 480i HEPA Silent Air Purifier (400 square feet)
The Blueair Classic comes in a range of coverage configurations and we tested the model capable of cleaning all the air in a space to 400 square feet. The 480i leveraging HEPASilent technology is our overall winner if you’re hunting for the best air purifier for cigarette smoke removal.
To complement that HEPA-filtration, the activated coconut carbon filters work hard to neutralize and deodorize any unpleasant smells and suck away the lingering odors caused by smokers in the house.
Filters are easy to clean and simply need swapping out twice a year to keep your Blueair running optimally.
A smart purifier, this WiFi-ready unit allows you to use your favourite digital assistant for voice control. You’ll need an Alexa-enabled device like an Echo smart speaker for this intelligent functionality, though.
For a complete solution against allergens, pathogens, dust and larger debris along with the foul smells left behind from cigarette smoke, the Blueair 480i deserves a place on any shortlist.
2. Runner-Up: Coway Mighty Air Purifier with True HEPA (361 square feet)
A close runner-up in our testing, the Coway Mighty lives up to its bold name. Able to cope with medium-sized rooms up to 361 square feet, this unit comes packing robust 4-stage filtration.
The pre-filter removes some of the stress from the HEPA medium that follows by trapping larger debris. An odor filter steps in to wick away the smoke left behind from cigarettes or cooking while a vital ionizer completes hard-hitting filtration by reducing particles floating in the air.
With a trio of color-coded LEDs, you can stay informed about the air quality in your home at a glance. Blue shows the air is clean, when the light glows purple, you’ve got medium pollution in the atmosphere while red indicates heavily polluted air.
Auto mode is a useful touch with all settings and fan speeds optimized on your behalf so you can enjoy fresh, clean and fragrant air without user input.
3. Also Great: RabbitAir BioGS HEPA Air Purifier (625 square feet)
The retooled RabbitAir BioGS 2.0 is capable of dealing with larger spaces to 625 square feet in area twice hourly on the highest setting.
The 4 tiers of filtration work to get rid of everything from the tiniest particles of dust through to volatile organic compounds and the noxious smell left behind by cigarette smoke. Activated charcoal media steps up to the plate to deal with this element.
The motor runs away at 5 different settings without kicking out too much racket. You’ll also get an EnergyStar-certified unit so you won’t end up drawing down excessive electricity in pursuit of clean air.
To complete a winning package, you’ll be covered by a dependable 5-year warranty and you’ll also benefit from lifetime customer support leaving you with absolutely no reason not to purchase.
4. Best Budget: LEVOIT Air Purifier (360 square feet)
Next up we’ve got an ozone-free purifier from LEVOI ideal for mid-sized rooms to 360 square feet in size. You’ll get all the air cleaned up to 5 times an hour depending on the setting.
Unlike much of the competition, the LEVOI runs practically whisper quiet. Rated at just 27 decibels, this purifier makes a perfect bedroom companion and won’t disturb your sleep.
Automatic mode cycles the fan through the 3 speed settings to suit the condition of the air in the room saving you from constantly tinkering with the purifier when you just want to relax with a movie.
While you won’t get a UV-C light, you won’t get any potentially damaging ozone in the atmosphere either. Alongside the HEPA filter, you’ll get the activated carbon medium you need to see off smoke and VOCs left behind by cigarettes.
This purifier doesn’t just get the job done in fine style but comes in at a budget-friendly price, too. Why not road test it like we did and notice a dramatic difference in your indoor air quality.
5. Best For Large Room: Coway AirMega Air Purifier (1560 square feet)
Another Coway up next in the form of the aptly named AirMega. This beast is cut out for really large spaces up to 1560 square feet so it’s perfect for that sprawling home in the Hills.
Freestanding and finished in either white or graphite offset with silver, this air purifier makes a striking design statement but is it a case of form over function?
Absolutely not. The true HEPA filter sees off the tiniest airborne pathogens and pollutants admirably. Larger debris is trapped and eliminated by the washable pre-filter but how about smoke and volatile organic compounds? Here, the activated carbon medium steps up and acquits itself winningly.
Rated at just under 44 decibels, the AirMega might not run silently but it won’t create too much noise either. You’ll also get sleep mode if you want to cut back on the noise when you’re in the bedroom.
Smart mode lets the purifier do all the work for you and settings will be tweaked automatically so you can carry on with your day safe in the knowledge smells, smoke and airborne allergens will all be safely neutralized.
6. Germ Guardian True HEPA Air Purifier (153 square feet)
This powerful 3-in-1 unit from Germ Guardian is best for smaller spaces. Coverage area is a fairly limited 153 square feet but in compact rooms, it gets the job done to a high standard.
The purifier works to combat the full gamut of pathogens that contaminate your indoor air quality. Pet dander and pollen is seen off thanks to the Pet Pure Filter. A true HEPA medium ensures those tiny particles invisible to the naked eye don’t make it through either.
How about airborne viruses, though? If you don’t mind the thought of ozone, the UV-C light fights off flu, staph, rhinovirus and other nasties floating around in the air. You should be aware of the implications of UV-C light before committing to purchase, though.
The programmable timer and sleep mode complete a standout package. If you’ve got cigarette smokers in the house and you don’t want to suffer from air riddled with VOCs and allergens, the Germ Guardian is a must.
7. RabbitAir MinusA2 Air Purifier (700 square feet)
Next up we’ve got another fine model from RabbitAir in the form of the MinusA2. Coverage capacity is outstanding at 700 square feet so you’ll be able to purify a whole floor of your house fuss-free.
A class-leading 6 stages of filtration keep you protected against any airborne agents you could imagine. The pre-filter steps in first to block the larger pieces of debris damaging to the other filters. A medium filter comes before the true HEPA medium then there’s a customized filter that can trap germs, toxins, pet allergens while also removing nasty smells. The activated carbon filter further neutralized the odor of smoke and the hard-hitting defense is completed with a negative ion generator.
Whatever contaminants are spoiling your indoor atmosphere and however much smoke and VOCs you find floating around, the MinusA2 punches above its slimline weight to vanquish them all. Get the air quality you deserve with RabbitAir.
8. Dyson Pure Hot and Cool Air Purifier (800 square feet)
Dyson are famous the world over for tech-driven vacuum cleaners so it’s no surprise they bring their expertise with filtration to bear on air purifiers, too.
The Pure Hot and Cool works well in larger spaces with a generous maximum coverage area of 800 square feet.
The sealed and smart HEPA filter captures 99.97% of those minute particles down to 0.3 microns in size. Air quality levels are monitored and you’ll get easy-to-read feedback along with reporting functionality.
Clean air is cunningly projected throughout the house exactly where you want it.
Along with top-tier purification, this unit also serves as both a fan and a cooler so you’ve got impeccable climate control year-round in one striking appliance.
Fully WiFi-enabled, you’ll even be able to take the helm using voice control.
9. Honeywell True HEPA Allergen Remover (465 square feet)
The Honeywell Allergen Remover makes a commanding statement in black-on-black but how does it fare on the performance front?
The true HEPA filter does its job exactly as intended with the most minuscule particles you can’t see sucked safely out of harm’s way. You’ll be able to clean and circulate the air in spaces up to 465 square feet five times hourly giving you the freshest and cleanest atmosphere 24/7.
The filtration is also a strong line of defense against cigarette smoke so you can rest easy even if you’ve got a heavy smoker in the house.
From viruses and pollen through to mold spores and pet dander, the Honeywell is capable of much more than simply combating smoke in the house. We can’t recommend this design-driven air purifier strongly enough.
10. Hathaspace True HEPA Air Purifier (350 square feet)
As we edge closer to the end of our quest for the best air purifier for cigarette smoke removal, in steps this Hathaspace True HEPA unit.
This is another 6-in system giving you complete safeguarding against pretty much anything that could taint your indoor air. From pet hair and pollen to smoke and the tiniest particles of dust, from VOCs to viruses, nothing escapes the sticky jaws of the Hathaspace.
With the intelligent air sensor, the machine works in the background to analyze what’s wrong with the air then reacts accordingly and automatically. Even this it features plenty of rewarding tech baked in, this purifier is a user-friendly model perfect for absolute beginners or those who aren’t particularly tech-savvy.
Perfect for medium-sized rooms up to 350 square feet in area, this might not be the cheapest air purifier but it represents stellar overall value.
11. Germ Guardian 3-in-1 Air Purifier (335 square feet)
We’ve got another winner from Germ Guardian up next in the shape of this 3-in-1 unit that will deliver fresh air with the minimum of fanfare at a price you’ll love.
The pre-filter and HEPA filter do their thing with both larger and smaller particles and pathogens while the activated carbon medium serves to eliminate the VOCs and smells issuing from cigarette smoke. There’s an optional UV-C light, too.
With 3 speed settings and a timer you can program for up to 6 hours, you’ve got everything you need here and nothing you don’t.
Filters need replacing every 6 months or so while the UV-C light will return perhaps a year of usage.
This unit comes EnergyStar-certified and it’s also ratified by AHAM for your peace of mind.
This purifier works best in smaller spaces up to a maximum of 335 square feet
12. Pure Enrichment PureZone 3-in-1 Air Purifier (200 square feet)
The PureZone from Pure Enrichment is tailor-made for bedrooms and other smaller spaces with a maximum coverage area of 200 square feet.
Rated at just 30 decibels, you can sleep easier with purified air without needing to ensure any tedious whining or thrumming from your purifier.
Set-up couldn’t be easier and you’ll be up and running in minutes flat. Operation is equally straightforward with an automatic timer giving you the security of knowing your purifier will turn itself off after 2, 4 or 8 hours of sustained use. Keep your air quality high and your electricity bills low!
The 5-year limited warranty removes any trepidation from purchase and customer care has a reputation for being helpful and responsive.
This was one of our personal favorites during testing and you won’t regret giving the PureZone a chance.
13. Honeywell True HEPA Air Purifier (390 square feet)
Last but absolutely not least, we’ve got yet another Honeywell to join the fray.
Ideal for mid-sized spaces, coverage is a reasonable 390 square feet so measure up your room and make sure this suits.
SurroundSeal technology makes certain the hard work performed by the HEPA filter is not undone and all contaminants stay inside where they should be rather than being belched back into the air.
The activated carbon filter works wonder to neutralize tobacco smoke and VOCs while the HEPA medium protects you from all this miniature contaminants that can inflame allergies and slow down your breathing.
For a powerful unit with a small footprint from a brand you can rely on, check out this Honeywell at your earliest opportunity.
With our capsule reviews put to bed, it’s time to briefly explain exactly how air purifiers manage to remove cigarette smoke before we round out.
II. How Air Purifiers Work to Remove Smoke
In order for any air purifier to work against cigarette smoke, 2 components are required:
- HEPA Filter: This serves to eliminate visible cigarette smoke
- Activated Carbon Filter: The smells of cigarette smoke are taken care of with activated carbon filter
Why the need for this two-pronged attack, though?
Well, cigarette smoke is comprised of visible and invisible particles.
The particles you can see are made of mainly of ash, oil, tar and carbon.
Surely, though, these particles are too small to be of much harm? Sadly not. With 600 ingredients and no less than 700 chemicals in every cigarette, up to 150 billion tar particles per square inch make their way into your indoor air each time someone fires up a cigarette. To put this into perspective, this is 10,000 times more concentrated than the pollution you’d experience during rush hour traffic.
The visible particles actually form less than 10% of the content so how about what you can’t see?
Particles too small to be detected by the naked eye kicked out by cigarette smoke include:
- Carbon monoxide
- Hydrogen cyanide
- Nitrogen oxide
These invisible particles are commonly referred to as VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and it’s here that the activated carbon filter works in tandem with the HEPA medium to take care of everything visible and invisible so the atmosphere in your home is safe, clean and fragrant.
So far so good but are these the only ways you can remove smoke from the air?
In a word, no. You can also combat cigarette smoke with:
- Ozone generators/ionizers: While these certainly work to get rid of cigarette smoke, they also come with an inbuilt problem: these units introduce ozone into the atmosphere. While you might be eliminating one toxin, in return you’ll be forced to endure another so think long and hard before opting for one of these purifiers
- UV-based purification: While UV light kills bacteria and viruses along with a range of harmful compounds found in cigarette smoke, most models marketed for home use simply don’t contain UV lights powerful enough to do the job they claim to. These are not without merit but they won’t be a strong enough ally alone to get rid of the smells and pollutants kicked out by cigarettes
- PCO purifiers: While this type of purification completely destroys smells, the effect is far too slow to be properly effective for home use
- Gas-phase filter purifiers: While activated carbon gas-phase filters work to eliminate many VOCs, they ideally need to be dual-phase for best effect. This type of filter also gets used up pretty quickly
- PECO purifiers: An uprated version of the PCO purifier, with a PECO unit, you’ll get a robust line of defense against cigarette smoke but these are uncommon on purifiers targeted at home users.
Despite a range of options at your disposal, the tried-and-true combo of a HEPA filter combined with activated carbon medium does the job better than most of the competition.
If you truly want a home free of cigarette smoke, the only proper solution is to make sure nobody smokes indoors. This does not mean there’s no place for an air purifier. Quite the reverse. You’ll notice a remarkable difference in overall air quality but in order to completely safeguard yourself against the toxins in cigarette smoke, keep them outside.
Let’s face it, it isn’t just that unpleasant smell that’s annoying. The dangers of passive smoking are well documented and potentially fatal. So take those cigarettes outside or, better yet, quit completely!
We trust one of these air purifiers meets your expectations and you’re ready to step up and start enjoying fresher, more fragrant air at home.
If you focus on the coverage area and seek out those features you’ll find genuinely valuable, buying the best purifier is a piece of cake.
While the functionality of these units is pretty limited, the job performed is carried out to he highest standard. Once you’ve purified the air in your home once, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without one of these appliances.
Don’t forget to bookmark the PrinceLA for all your home and garden needs. We rigorously test all the products we review so we can offer an impartial and first-hand experience.
Most importantly, come back soon as we’ve got a busy summer ahead of us putting all the finest kit through its paces then reporting our findings for you!