How Air Purifiers Can Help Eliminate Smoke Odor in Your Home?

Air purifiers for smoke are a popular solution for individuals who are concerned about the quality of air in their homes. Living next to a smoker or in an area prone to wildfires can be challenging for many reasons. But the smoke and smoke odor that lingers in the air can be particularly problematic, and of course annoying. For some people it means issues with asthma or allergies as well. If you don’t want to be walking around constantly with a HEPA filter taped to your face, air purifiers can help eliminate smoke and smoke odor from your home, making it a more comfortable and healthier place to live. We will discuss how air purifiers work and what you should look for when choosing one. Of course your home style and space limitations will have some determination in what you pick.

air purifier for smoke

How do Air Purifiers Work?

Air purifiers are designed to remove particles and pollutants from the air, including smoke and smoke odor. They work by pulling air through a series of filters that trap pollutants such as smoke, dust, and pollen. Some air purifiers are designed specifically for smoke, and use specialized filters that can capture even the smallest particles. HEPA filters, in particular, are highly effective at capturing smoke particles, which can be as small as 0.3 microns. Some air purifiers also use activated carbon filters, excellent at removing smoke odor. Basically the air purifier will pull the surrounding air into the machine, sucking it through the filter itself, and then blows out the clean air, essentially making it a smoke odor eliminator.

Now keep in mind that an air purifier is not an immediate smoke odor eliminator. It will not block smoke from coming into your space, it will simply clean the air once it has entered. So you can’t just sit next to the air purifier and think you won’t be smelling smoke. I WISH it worked like that!

Choosing an Air Purifier

When choosing an air purifier for smoke and smoke odor, it’s essential to consider the size of the room you want to purify. Air purifiers are rated based on the maximum area they can effectively clean, so be sure to choose a device appropriate for your room’s size. Air purifiers are rated by the amount of air they can filter per hour, so be sure to choose one that is appropriate for the size of the space. You will typically see a ‘square feet’ measurement noted on these machines. If you don’t know how to get this measurement, you will take the measurement of your width and length of your floor, then multiply by 2. This is because you need to also account for the ‘air square footage’… since you want all of that clean. It’s also important to look for an air purifier with a HEPA filter and activated carbon filter, as these will be the most effective at removing smoke particles and odor.

When shopping for an air purifier for smoke, it’s important to look for one with a high CADR rating. CADR stands for Clean Air Delivery Rate and measures how quickly an air purifier can filter the air in a room. The higher the CADR rating, the faster the air purifier can clean the air of smoke particles and other pollutants.

Choosing the right air purifier will not only be determined by your specific needs and additional features (see below), and of course by the square footage you need cleaned. But as I mentioned above it will also be determined by your specific space. Air purifiers come in tons of different sizes, colors, circular or square, and physically size of teeny tiny cup sized to the size of a personal air conditioner…. not to mention the actual industrial sized medical grade ones haha.

Did you know that in addition to home air purifiers, they also make ones for the car? And travel sized? While you are probably on this page because you live next to a smoker, I figured I’d mention both options just in case. You can see some options here on Amazon.

air purifiers

Additional Features

Air purifiers can be equipped with additional features that improve their effectiveness against smoke and its odors. For instance, some devices come with UV-C light, which can eliminate bacteria and viruses in the air. Ionizers are also incorporated in some devices that give particles a static charge, making them easy to remove from the air. 

Although not necessary, these features can be advantageous in specific circumstances. If you are looking for an air purifier in areas with high pollution, such features enhance the device’s efficiency. The extra features also make the purifier more versatile and can be used in various settings. 

There are also air purifier and humidifier combination machines that are great if you typically have a humidifier and now need smoke odor elimination as well. Two birds one stone as they say.

A few of these on the market have a spot to add essential oils (where the clean air blows out). So you can use natural oils to add scents or beneficial things like eucalyptus oil. Just be careful using oils if you have pets in the home.

These added features come at a cost, and some might not be effective in certain scenarios, like a humidifier in Florida. When purchasing an air purifier, evaluate your needs and the suitability of the extra features.


To maintain the effectiveness of air purifiers, periodic maintenance is necessary for the appliances. Filters tend to accumulate particles, leading to clogging over time. Hence, it is essential to replace filters periodically. However, the frequency and process of replacement may differ from device to device, so it’s crucial to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your particular air purifier. These days with how quickly small appliances seem to come and go from Amazon, I always buy at least one filter refill when I grab an air purifier (or similar products) so I know I can at least get some solid use JUST IN CASE they decide they don’t want to see it anymore. But always look to make sure replacement filters are available for the purifier machine you are looking for… some definitely don’t and then trying to find one that will work can be a real biotch.

Proper maintenance will help your air purifier function optimally and enhance the air quality it circulates, making your living space healthier and more comfortable. So, be sure to prioritize the upkeep of your air purifier and follow the guidelines given by the manufacturer for the best results.

Also keep in mind when you are shopping or considering the space you are going to place your home purifier… it needs enough air space around it to suck in the air, so you can’t trap it too much.

air purifier for smoke

Final Thoughts

Air purifiers can be an excellent solution for those who want to eliminate smoke and smoke odor from their home. By choosing a device with a HEPA filter and activated carbon filter and considering additional features, you can find an air purifier that meets your needs and helps keep your home’s air clean and healthy. So, breathe easy and invest in an air purifier today.

In addition to air purifiers, there are also other products that can help reduce smoke in the air. Smokeless ashtrays, for example, use charcoal or other materials to absorb smoke and odors from cigarettes or cigars. Personal air filters, such as the Smoke Buddy, are also available, which use activated carbon to filter out smoke particles.

Need some more insight before you grab one? Be sure to check out the mirage of air purifier reviews and stories available online. Like this New York Times ‘7 Best Air Purifiers‘ post where they tested over many years or the ‘12 Best Air Purifiers‘ from Wired. Of course they are specifically speaking to air purifiers for smoke, so be sure to read actual product reviews from users before you hit the purchase button!

Best Air Purifier For Smoke

So what are the best air purifiers for smoke you ask? Here is a round up of some of the most recommended. I personally have two of the small Mooka air purifiers (thankfully they usually have a coupon too) in the two rooms that get ‘hit’ with cigarette smoke the most. I know the one is too small for the room it is in, but luckily since I figured out how to block cigarette smoke from my house, for the most part, this filter is more about keeping the general air clean in my space. Plus they are small enough I’m able to keep in corners behind plants so you never even see them. If you knew me, you’d get why I need them hidden haha.

We will kind of break them down into size sections here. Starting from the smallest and working up to the largest and even some fancy options.

portable air purifier

Car & Portable Air Purifiers

The cool thing is there are some really small air purifiers. Just note that these are only going to work for very small spots like cars, closets, and MAY help in small rooms if you keep next to your bed (no guarantees there). There is another small smoking eliminator tool that is super small and that is the Smoke Buddy, but that’s covered on a different post because it works differently.

car air purifier

This car air purifier can blend right in on your dash or on the back window over the trunk.

portable air purifier

These adorable purifiers come in a variety of colors. With the handle they make them easy to go from car to bedroom.

 air purifiers for car

These plug into a cigarette lighter. They seem to be hit or miss on whether they work for people or not.

best car air purifier

This one goes on the back of a car seat. Definitely on the pricier side but people seem to like.

Small Home Air Purifiers

These are smaller home air purifying machines that are better for single rooms or smaller spaces. If you need to hide these under beds or behind plants (like me haha) these are going to be more of your jam.

air purifier for smoke

On the pricier side for this size, but it does have nearly a five star review! Does seem to clean a much larger footage though.

best air purifier for smoke

This two-pack is pretty sleek in style and comes in both black and white options.

portable air purifier

My little Mooka. This is the one I currently have in my own home in a couple spots.

air purifiers

If you are looking for more of a square shape (since many are round).

best air purifiers

Full-House Air Purifiers

These air purifiers are perfect for smaller homes in the 1300-1800 square foot range. Although that BlueAir one above would also fit into this category. They also have a larger version that would fit below.

House air purifiers

Like most in this size range it is a taller rectangle. Available in both black and white.

HEPA air purifier

This one also has an aromatherapy pad where you can add essential oils.

best air purifier for smoke

Remote controlled and one of the few square ones that cover this square footage.

Industrial air purifier

On the pricier side, but this one is said to automatically detect pollutants in the air.

Industrial & Medical Grade Air Purifiers

Now just because they are medical grade doesn’t mean they don’t make ones that can fit in your home, especially if you have a bit more space and need to clear more air, or perhaps a smaller space that needs cleaner air than the retail ones can offer. These of course are going to be more expensive, and likely so will their filter replacements. But if ya need it, ya need it right? Of course these are just what are readily available on Amazon…. I’m sure there are actual ones that are meant for a whole office building floor and what not.

medical air purifiers

This brand makes medical grade air purifiers in a variety of sizes too.

Industrial air purifier

Not quite medical grade, but big square footage and multiple filter levels.