Choosing The Best Air Purifier For Smoke

If you or someone you live with is a smoker, you’ll be familiar with the smell of tobacco smoke filling your home. That strong smell clings to your walls, furniture, clothing, hair, and well everything. It can be really difficult to get rid of the odor. But a specialized air purifier for smoke can help to remove that tobacco odor so that your home smells fresher and cleaner.

You may also know about the dangers of second-hand smoke in the home. Second-hand smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, many of which are dangerous to breathe in the lungs. Further, there is evidence that third-hand smoke, or the smoke that leaves harmful toxins in your clothes, furniture and hair can also be dangerous.

Certain air purifiers can really help to filter out these harmful toxins and eliminate the tobacco odor from your home. In this article I have compiled a list of the best air purifiers for smoke. Here I provide honest, research-based reviews listing out the pros and cons of each air purifier mentioned.

If you’re in a rush, then my top recommendation for the best air purifier for smoke would be the Austin Air HealthMate HM400. I’ll be reviewing that, and each of the following in detail this post. To know the exact price of each air purifier, click the “Check Price” button below each review.

How Can An Air Purifier For Smoke Help?

Air purifiers use an internal fan and a system of filters to remove airborne pathogens and toxins from the air. The filtered air then circulates back into the room for you to breathe.

Most air purifiers focus on removing airborne allergens, dust and dander, as these are common issues among homeowners. However, to effectively target smoke particles and tobacco odors, you’ll need to shop for an air purifier which is specifically designed to target smoke.

To find the best air purifier for smoke, you need to ensure the system can both filter the tiny particles that form visible smoke and remove tobacco odors. At a minimum you’ll want to ensure the air purifier you select has the following features to effectively tackle smoke:

  • True HEPA Filter: HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air, and it is the highest standard for air filtration. True HEPA filters capture up to 99.97% of airborne particles down to 0.3 microns in size. This filter is the best way to effectively remove the particles that make up visible smoke.
  • Activated Carbon Filter: this layer is required to remove tobacco odors. You’ll want to look for a model with a thick carbon filter, which will work to neutralizing the strong odor in the air.
  • Ionizer: this additional layer of protection is optional but is worth considering. An ionizer will emit negative ions into the air and will work to neutralize smoke particles in the air.

There are several other features to consider when picking the best air purifier for smoke. For example, you’ll want to consider the maximum square footage, filter replacement schedule, customer reviews, and of course price. I’ll go into detail on each these features below.

Which is the Best Air Purifier For Smoke?

1. Austin Air HealthMate HM400ier

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best air purifier for smoke - AustinAir

The Austin Air HealthMate HM400 is a great machine to tackle tobacco smoke. The best feature is the 15-lb activated carbon filter. This is the largest activated carbon filter on the market, making it the best at eliminating tobacco odors.

I love that this machine is on 4 wheels, so you can easily move it around your house. It also draws air in from all sides, creating 360 degrees of filtration. And it can cover up to 1,500 square feet, making it great for large spaces.

In terms of maintenance, this machine is extremely long lasting and only requires a filter change every 5 years. The replacement filters are quite expensive (currently around $250); however, they’re quite long lasting so the cost is spread over several years.

  • True HEPA filter
  • Largest activated carbon filter available (15 lbs)
  • Covers up to 1,500 square feet
  • Low maintenance
  • Expensive replacement filters (that said, the filters do last for 5 years, so it is a low overall investment)

2. Rabbit Air MinusA2

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best air purifier for smoke - Rabbit

This air purifier is a leader for tackling smoke. It can easily be mounted on a wall or stand alone on the floor, and it covers a room up to 700 square feet.

The Rabbit Air MinusA2 utilizes a 6-stage filtration process to filter and deodorize the air. Most importantly, it has the HEPA filter and a charcoal based activated carbon filter to tackle smoke. It also has a negative ion generator to freshen the air. Filter replacement is recommended every 12 months for this model.

Customers love this model, and many commented on how effective it is at freshening the air.

  • True HEPA filter
  • Activated carbon filter
  • Ionizer
  • Covers up to 700 square feet
  • Ion generator can be negative for some as it may emit small amount of ozone. Note, the machine is compliant with the ozone safety requirements set by the California Air Resources Board
  • Filter replacement every 12 months

3. PureZone 3-in-1 True HEPA Air Purifier

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best air purifier for smoke - PureZone 3 in 1

The PureZone 3-in-1 is a model with a triple filtration system and works in rooms up to 150 square feet. The filtration system includes the true HEPA filter which captures up to 99.97% of airborne pathogens (including visible smoke particles), an activated carbon filter to eliminate tabaco odor, and a UV-C light to zap germs, viruses, bacteria, and fungi. For these reasons, this model also made it on to my list for best air purifier for mold.

I really like the PureZone 3-in-1 because it has a whisper quiet operation, making it perfect for bedrooms. This model works well for rooms up to ~150 square feet.

Style-wise, it is quite compact and would be easy to move from room to room.

  • Triple filtration system, including true HEPA filter and activated carbon filter
  • Whisper quiet operation; great for bedrooms
  • Sleek, compact design
  • Great value for money
  • Small (works in rooms up to 150 square feet), so may not stand up to a strong smoke environment

4. Coway AP-1512HH

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best air purifier for smoke - coway

This small and mighty machine offers the gold standard HEPA filter to capture up to 99.97% of airborne particles, an activated carbon filter to reduce odors, and an ionizer to zap particles in the air.

I really like this machine for its air quality indicator, which let’s you know how much pollution is currently in your air. This machine is also super-efficient. It operates in three speeds and will automatically turn to eco-mode once the air quality indicator shows “good” for 30 minutes.

In terms of maintenance, the filters need to be replaced 1 – 2 times per year, and the filters require regular cleaning especially if you are filtering smoke. Personally, I prefer this machine for other airport pollutants like mold and dust mites, as I think this one will require too much maintenance to really tackle smoke. That is why I’ve also included this model on my list for best air purifier for mold.

  • Triple filtration system, including true HEPA filter, activated carbon and ionizer
  • Smart controls and easy to read air quality indicator
  • Sleek design
  • High maintenance with regular cleaning required
  • May not be powerful enough to stand up to a heavy smoke environment
  • Ionizer may concern some due to ozone emission; however, this machine has been certified as either producing no ozone or emitting a concentration of less than 0.05 parts per million (i.e., extremely low or non-existent).

5. GermGuardian AC4825

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best air purifier for smoke - germguardian

The GermGuardian AC4825 is a decent air purifier for smoke. It utilises a 3-part filtration system including a HEPA filter, UV-C light filter, and an activated charcoal filter to deodorize tobacco smells.

This model comes in a slim, compact shape and is great for single rooms. It can cover up to 167 square feet. I like that is reasonably priced, so it definitely won’t break the bank if you want a filter for just one or two rooms in your home.

In terms of maintenance, this machine requires a filter replacement every 6 – 8 months, and a new UV-C bulb every 10 – 12 months.  This machine offers good value for money, and I really like it for tackling dust mites and mold spores. I think this machine could do well against smoke given the HEPA filter and activated charcoal.

  • Triple filtration system
  • Great value for money
  • Only suitably for small areas / single rooms (up to 167 square feet)

The Air Control Guy Winner: Austin Air HealthMate HM400

Of the five products I’ve reviewed, the Austin Air HealthMate HM400 is my winner for best air purifier for smoke. This model has a 15-lb activated carbon filter, which is currently unmatched in the market. Tobacco smoke simply doesn’t stand a chance against this air purifier.

I also like that this model is great for large spaces, has a 360 degree filter, and it easy to wheel from room to room. If you’re serious about wanting to remove smoke particles and tobacco odors from your home, then the Austin Air HealthMate HM400 could be a great choice for you.

In very close second place, I would recommend the Rabbit Air MinusA2, as this is another very powerful machine to tackle smoke.

For more like this, check out our latest posts on Humidity Control (Humidifiers & Dehumidifiers) and Air Purifying.

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