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Overall, the best air purifiers for smoke, whether that’s from wildfires or cigarettes, have multiple types of filters to trap small particles and gasses. Depending on your needs and budget, you may consider a portable air purifier for a room or a larger device for an entire home.

While using an air purifier isn’t the same as eliminating the source of smoke, purchasing one of these devices may help remove some of the harmful particles and give you peace of mind. Below are five air purifiers for smoke you may consider.

Our roundup of the best air purifiers for smoke is based on the following criteria:

  • types of particles filtered
  • device contains both HEPA and activated carbon filters
  • room size the device can filter
  • high smoke clean air delivery rate (CADR)
  • additional technological features
  • price
  • customer reviews
  • California Air Resources Board (CARB) certifications and Energy Star ratings

Best purifier for small rooms

Air purifiersHighlightsWhat it’s best forCustomer rating (out of 5)
Blueair Classic 680i Air Purifier– highest CADR rating when compared to other home-use air purifierslarge rooms4.4 stars
Bissell air220 Air Purifier– combines HEPA and carbon filters with a quiet motorlow-tech air purification4.7 stars
Hathaspace HSP002 Smart True HEPA Air Purifier– purifies rooms up to 1,500 square feet
– has high-tech features like a touchscreen
large rooms or whole-house purification4.6 stars
Blueair Blue Pure 411 Auto Air Purifier– portable, budget-friendly machine
– combines electronic and mechanical filtration
moving from room to room4.6 stars
Alen BreatheSmart 75i Air Purifier– purifies large rooms
– has additional features like color-coded sensors
large rooms, those looking for fancier features4.6 stars
Levoit Core 300 Air Purifier– three-stage filtration with Vortex Technologynighttime use, small rooms4.7 stars
Bissell air320 Air Purifier– three-stage filtration
– five-speed fan that auto adjusts as needed
using on auto mode4.6 stars

When looking for the best air purifier for smoke, consider where you want to use the device. This can help you select the right size to do the job. You’ll also want to look for the following features:

The right filters

To get rid of smoke, look for an air purifier that is equipped with both HEPA and carbon filters. HEPA filters are designed to remove particles of all sizes and are considered standard in quality air purifiers.

Additionally, your air purifier should be equipped with activated carbon filters. These help trap the gasses contained in smoke.

Together, HEPA and carbon filters work to get rid of particles and gasses found in smoke. While many air purifiers on the market contain both, it’s important to double-check the product features to be certain.

A high CADR rating for smoke

A quality air purifier for smoke will also have a high CADR rating. The CADR applies to home air purifiers and measures how quickly the device cleans the air of various particle sizes. Unlike pollen and dust, smoke has a smaller particle size.

When it comes to finding the right air purifier, the higher the CADR rating, the better. When looking for air purifiers, you’ll see a CADR rating for different particle sizes and types. Make sure the device in question has a high CADR rating for smoke or small particles.

Ozone-safe devices

To prevent ozone emissions, you may consider purchasing a mechanical air purifier, or an electric one that has an emissions concentration of 0.050 parts per million or less. Some of these devices may also have a seal of approval from CARB.

Air purifiers may be a worthwhile purchase, but it’s important to know your overall goal before making this investment. In some cases, you’ll find that devices with more advanced features come with higher price tags.

If you want to get rid of occasional smoke, an air purifier may be worth the money. However, if there’s constant smoke in your work or living spaces, it’s best to address the underlying source of the smoke instead.

It’s also important to be aware of any aggressive marketing techniques that may be associated with air purifiers. No device will eliminate smoke entirely, and no device makes it safe to live with chronic exposure to tobacco or wildfire smoke.

Can an air purifier help with wildfire smoke?

Yes. Air purifiers use something called mechanical filtration to remove smoke particles from the air, this includes wildfire smoke. Mechanical filtration creates a physical barrier that literally traps particles of a certain size.

Many air filters use HEPA filters that can trap particles down to 0.3 microns in size. For reference, smoke particles are around 2.5 microns. Because of this, they can’t pass through the filter and instead get trapped, making the air you’re breathing cleaner and fresher.

In addition to choosing an air purifier with HEPA and carbon filters with the right fan speeds, it will work best to filter the air in your home if it’s the right size for the room it’s in and if the closed windows and doors that lead outside have a good seal.

Which air purifier is best for cigarette smoke?

Any air purifier with a HEPA filter that traps particles down to 0.3 microns in size will work for cigarette smoke. However, you also want to consider the clean air delivery rate (CADR).

CADR represents how quickly an air purifier can remove contaminants of different particle sizes, like smoke, from the air. CADR goes up to around 400 to 450, but a good baseline for smoke is around 100.

In short, the best air purifier for smoke combines an effective HEPA filter that filters down to 0.3 microns with at least a 100 CADR.

Do air purifiers work against smoke?

Yes, the right air purifiers work against smoke. They may not be able to eliminate odor and contaminants completely, especially if the smoke is ongoing, but they can help clean the air. The key is to choose an air purifier that has the right type of filters and fan speeds.

An air purifier may help get rid of smoke particles and related gases in your home or workspace. It’s important to find an air purifier that’s specifically designed for smoke. Some devices may specialize in other pollen, dander, and dust particles.

Our roundup of the best air purifiers for smoke suits different price points. Aside from your budget, you’ll also want to find a device with the right types of filters, a high CADR rating, and perhaps advanced smart features.

Keep in mind that no matter which air purifier you choose, the best way to get rid of smoke in the air is to remove the source. Talk with your doctor for more tips.