The Best Air Purifier For Fast Smoke Removal – Top 5 Reviews
If you smoke or share your home with someone who does, you might be interested to hear about a clever device which can help to get rid of smoke from air indoors.
Such a device is called an air purifier. Air purifiers themselves have been around for a few years now, but there’s a new generation of them which the manufacturers have tailored to help with specific needs and health concerns.
For example, there are now models which are targeted at pet owners, allergy sufferers, or as in the case of this article, people who want to quickly and easily remove smoke from their homes.
Top 5 Best Air Purifiers for Smoke Removal
Before we take a look at the many different air purifiers which can help to do this, let’s take a quick look at exactly what they are, how they do this, and some considerations to take into account before you make a purchase.
So What Is An Air Purifier?
Well, without going into too much technical detail, an air purifier is essentially an electrical device which draws air into it, (usually by means of a fan), traps contaminated particles in this air (usually in a filter), then blows back out ‘clean’ unpolluted air.
Do I Need A Special Type of Air Purifier for Smoke?
Not all air purifiers trap exactly the same types of particles, and you need to be sure that you choose one that has a filter which can effectively capture potential harmful smoke particles in particular.
Dust particles, for instance, are larger in size than smoke particles and so pretty much all models of air purifiers on the market will be able to deal with them.
But smoke particles on the other hand are among the smallest in size and require a filter which has smaller holes in it in order to be able to properly remove them.
These types of filters are called HEPA filters and they’re able to capture up to 99.97% of particles down to 0.3 microns in size – i.e. the very microscopic ones.
If you’re interested in learning more about different particle sizes please see our table here. If you are looking for a more in-depth explanation of HEPA filters and the HEPA standards visit this page.
Will An Air Purifier Also Remove Smoke Smells?
Again, not all purifiers are created equally, and in addition to choosing one with a HEPA filter you should also look for one that comes with an additional carbon filter.
Carbon is an absorbent material and so it will ‘suck up’ any unpleasant smells and fumes associated with cigarette smoke.
Are Air Purifiers Easy To Use?
Most times you simply open up the packaging, plug it in and then you’re good to go.
Air purifiers do tend to be very user-friendly, with simple and clear on-unit controls – e.g. on/off switch and fan speeds (usually low, medium and high).
Some come with remote controls so you can operate the unit from the comfort of your sofa or bed. Some have timer features where the unit will switch off automatically after a certain amount of time has elapsed – ideal if you plan to use just before bedtime but don’t necessarily need the unit running right through the night.
Others come with clever sensor technology which can detect the indoor air quality and adjust the fan speed accordingly – i.e. switch to high when a boost is needed before returning to low once the air quality has improved.
What About Maintenance?
Only a very little amount of maintenance is needed on a regular basis to keep your air purifier in excellent working order.
But please don’t be tempted to skip on this as it can reduce the effectiveness of the unit, and can in some circumstances render any warranties null and void.
Generally you’ll need to replace the filters at intervals recommended by the individual manufacturer, usually between 6 months to a year.
In between filter replacements you can also help to prolong the life of your filter by taking it out of the unit (usually a simple job of just opening a door on the unit and sliding it out) and either vacuuming it or washing in soapy water.
What Else Should I Look For When Choosing The Ideal Air Purifier?
So, you now know that air purifiers with both HEPA and carbon filters are the best at dealing with smoke, but there are also a few other things you might want to consider before you buy.
Firstly, and very importantly, check out the unit’s capacity dimension recommendations – there’s absolutely no point purchasing a unit which is recommended for use in small rooms if you plan on using it in a large space. It simply won’t be able to clean the air efficiently and is a waste of energy and money.
If you plan on using the air purifiers in a few different rooms, think about portability. Does the unit come with casters so it can be easily wheeled to a different location in your home? If not, is it lightweight enough for you to be able to carry it?
Do you want something that’s a real statement piece, or something that will blend in with your existing decor?
And how about noise? It must be said that most air purifiers are relatively quiet but check out what previous customers have said regarding volume levels.
What about the cost of replacement filters?
Make sure you know upfront what these are likely to be and that you’re happy to commit to the financial outlay. When broken down to a daily cost it’s generally a very modest figure, but do find this information out beforehand.
Lastly, what sort of warranty does your chosen option come with? Can you extend it if you so choose? Are there any exclusions or limitations, such as making sure you change the filter at the recommended interval?
So, now we’ve had a look at how an air purifier can help to remove cigarette smoke and things to bear in mind when making your selection, please scroll down for more information on specific models and how we rate them.
The 5 Best Air Purifiers For Cigar and Cigarette Smoke Removal
The first thing you’ll notice about the Honeywell 50250 is its shape. It’s one of the few HEPA air purifiers that is cylindrical. This cylindrical shape has the advantage of a 360-degree air intake and output and allows for maximum air circulation efficiency. This makes is excellent for cigarette and cigar filled rooms in particular.
That said, its shape won’t be for everyone as it doesn’t look as stylish as some of its competitors which have cleaner lines and look more like objects of design and less like objects of industry.
Lots of people who have purchased the unit have given it 5 stars for smoke removal.
“It does an excellent job of removing smoke” – 5 stars on Amazon.com
- “…effective at removing cigarette smoke…” – 5 stars
- “Excellent for reducing smoke odors” – 5 stars
The unit can be configured with a range of filter types to match your specific needs but I recommend the True HEPA Allergen Remove configuration as this is the one which is most effective at dealing with smoke and is also the set-up recommended by doctors based on research carried out by Honeywell.
The unit comes with a dual filter system. The first is a carbon pre-filter which is designed to remove odors and capture some of the larger air particles. The second is the True-HEPA filter which is a HEPA grade filter and is excellent at capturing particles such as dust, pet dander, mold spores, some airborne bacteria, mold spores and of course smoke particles. The unit has a built-in indicator which monitors the filters and indicates when they need changed or cleaned. This takes away the guesswork and lets you know exactly when to change them to keep your air fresh and clean.
- Excellent ratings for smoke removal
- Great value unit
- Customisable filter set-up allows you to select the best configuration for your needs
- 360 deg air circulation
- Over 80% of people give the unit 4 or 5 stars (Source: Amazon.com Feb 2017)
- The design won’t suit everyone, it looks very much like an appliance so may not blend into the room like other models will
- The pre-filter needs changed every 3 months
My verdict:Head to Amazon.com for the latest price
2.) Alen BreatheSmart Customizable Air Purifier with HEPA-OdorCell Filter to Reduce Allergies and Smoke – Go to Amazon.com
When you first set eyes on the Alen BreathSmart you’ll certainly notice that they have employed some seriously good designers. The unit just looks cool. It also comes with a huge range of changeable front panels which mean it’ll fit wth almost any design taste and will slot easily into your current color scheme. They even provide a cover that is ready for you to paint in your own design if you’re a budding artist.
In terms of smoke removal, this unit has it all. The HEPA filter removes smoke particles, including those nasty chemicals that could linger about in the air. The carbon filter absorbs the odors so there is less of a smoky smell in your home and on your clothes. The air purifier is great for reducing second-hand smoke too so may help to protect the health of the non-smokers in the family.
When you first set eyes on the Alen BreathSmart you’ll certainly notice that they have employed some seriously good designers.
The unit has a range of 4 different filter cells, each one specifically designed to meet a specific type of home environment. For smoke control and removal, the HEPA FreshePlus is recommended. This filter cell has a HEPA grade filter designed to remove smoke, VOCs and chemicals from the air.
The unit will cover areas of up to 1,100 sq. ft. so should be good for large rooms and open plan areas. If you live in an apartment one unit will most likely provide enough coverage for your whole home. Users have reported that the unit is also very quiet, particularly on the low and medium settings. Something which is worth mentioning is that the unit has a technology called “WhisperMax”. This uses pink noise to help reduce higher frequency sounds that tend to be those that irritate us the most so this should help you relax, and is particularly good at night when background noise is lower and even low volumes become noticeable.
The in-unit air quality sensor gets great feedback from previous buyers. The unit is continually monitoring the air quality and adjusting the fan speed automatically if detects higher levels of impurities. This is great as the unit will kick in automatically when you start smoking to quickly remove the smoke.
Finally, Alen offers a lifetime warranty and a free telephone consultation for every customer. This phone consultation is a really nice touch. During it a consultant will talk you through setting up the unit, its key features, where best to place it and how to correctly change the filter. It’s designed to get you started and really get the most out of the unit.
- Cool, stylish and flexible design options – 15 panels to choose from
- Powerful, larger area coverage – 1100 sq. ft.
- Low noise levels, ideal for bedrooms and study areas
- Customisable filter cells – the “FreshPlus” is best for smoke removal
- Highly rated – 88% of people rated it 4 or 5 stars – (Amazon.com – Feb 2017)
- Cost – it’s higher than some units but it you do get what you pay for in quality and features
- The filters are not true HEPA filters – this doesn’t mean to say the are not still great filters, it just means they don’t exactly meet the strict HEPA standard.
“Final Thoughts – It doesn’t get any better than this for me. I absolutely and very highly recommend this product. You’ll love it!!!” – From Amazon.com Buyer (Nov 2015)
My Verdict:Price Check This Unit on Amazon.com
3.) Holmes HAP756 True HEPA Air Cleaner and Odor Eliminator with Digital Display for Large Spaces – Amazon.com
The Holmes HAP756 is a fantastic value unit. It’s not the best looking unit out there and lacks some of the more advanced features offered by the more expensive units on the market but the one thing it does have going for it is excellence value. This is one of the best value units you can buy.
One review commented that this unit was a “Smoke Destroyer!!” – it was that effective at removing cigarette and cigar smoke from the room.
You’ll love this unit if you are are on a budget, have a medium sized room of up to 400 sq. ft. and are not necessarily looking for a design classic. That said it’s not overly offensive to look at by any means.
The HAP756 has a selection of filter options so you can select the right option to fit in with your lifestyle. I’d recommend the Performance Plus filter option as this is a True-HEPA filter and lasts 12 months on average. They also offer an Odor Eliminator filter which is a 3rd of the cost, is not a True-HEPA and needs replaced every 3 months – I’ll let you do the math! The unit does come with a filter change indicator that lights up when you need to change the filter takes the guesswork away – great if you have a memory like mine!
It also has carbon pre-filter. While HEPA filters are effective at removing particles they don’t remove odors. Carbon filters trap odors and some larger sized particles. This combination of HEPA and carbon filters removes both the harmful particles and smoke as well as other cooking and pet odors so the air in your home room really clean too.
The Performance Plus filter is not only excellent for smoke removal but will also quickly deal with dust, pollen, pet dander, mold spores and other airborne particles that could harbor harmful bacteria.
Customer feedback examples: (source – reviews from Amazon.com)
- “Works well for cigarette smoke” – 5 star
- “Well worth the money!” – 5 star
- “Cleaner air, less dust….HAPPY!” – 5 star
- “It’s okay”. Can’t say “I love it” – 3 star
- Outstanding value for money at around $150
- Well over 75% of customers rated it 4 or 5 stars on Amazon.com (Feb 2017)
- A range of filter packs to suit your lifestyle (Performance Plus is best for smoke)
- Ideal for smaller rooms up to 400 sq. ft.
- True-HEPA filtration – medical and military class filters
- The design is functional but not particularly classy – not ideal if you have it sitting in your living room 24/7.
- High filter costs – it takes 3 filter cells at a time – this is worth considering when buying replacements.
- Poor build quality – it’s almost 100% plastic
- No built in air quality sensor – you’ll have to leave the unit on all the time or buy an additional sensing unit.
My Verdict:Buy now at Amazon.com
Fellows have created a range of air purification units and the flagship AeraMax unit stands out as the best of the bunch, particularly for dealing with smoke over a wider area.
The design is well thought out and stylish so it will fit neatly into most rooms. It’s available in a black or white finish which allows you to decide the best fit for your interior design.
The controls are along the right side of the unit and the touch screen is easy simple and easy to work. The unit has a selection of 4 speeds, including a turbo mode which is useful if someone is smoking in the room as it will provide a quicker turn-around of the air and quicker smoke removal.
The unit is also certified as asthma and allergy friendly by the AAFA (Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America).
In “Auto Mode” a smart sensor will adjust the fan speed depending on the air quality. The air quality indicator also has a red, amber or green display to let you know the current condition of the air inside your room. This is a perfect feature for automatically sensing and then quickly removing cigarette smoke, and means you don’t need manually turn on the unit every time you or a someone in the room smoke: the unit is smart enough to adjust its speed automatically.
AeraMax used a combination of filters to provide all-round fresh and clean air. The HEPA filter is designed to remove practically all harmful particles that linger in the air. This includes cigarette smoke, mold, dust, pet dander, ragweed and allergy causing viruses and bacteria.
It’s worth noting that the HEPA filter is treated with a special antimicrobial treatment called AeraSafe. This treatment stops the filter becoming a breeding ground for mildew, mold and fungi that can cause additional odors. The last thing you want is your air purifier to be the source of smells!
A carbon filter removes cooking, smoking, pet and other odors from the air and also acts as a pre-filter to remove larger particles like pet hair and dirt. This actually increases the life of the more expensive and delicate HEPA filter.
In terms of running costs the carbon filter needs replaced every 3 months and the HEPA every 12 months. This will cost well under $100 in total for the year, which is excellent value.
- Great value for money
- Stylish design which will fit into most homes without being an eye-sore
- Auto sensing technology to control the fan speed to match the air quality – perfect for removing smoke after a cigarette or cigar
- Best in class Carbon, HEPA and ION – 3 stage filtration
- Great for larger rooms up to 600 sq. ft.
- Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America Certified – ideal for dog and cat allergy sufferers
- 85% of customers give it 4 or 5 stars on Amazon.com (March 2017)
- Some one-star reviews but mostly related to defects on arrival and covered by the guarantee
I’m actually struggling to find any other negatives about this unit – it seems to tick all the boxes. Lots of satisfied customers seem to think so too.
At first glance, the WAC5500 looks like a fairly standard air purifier. It doesn’t have clear cut lines like the AeraMax 300 but isn’t so odd that it’s in danger of looking out of place like the Holmes HAP756.
However, don’t let that fool you as this is an excellent unit and is great value for money for the features it comes with.
First of all and most importantly for removing smoke is the carbon pre-filter. Carbon filters are specifically designed to stop odors, and by actually capturing them in the carbon particles of the filter it means they don’t get back into the room and get recirculated.
The second line of defence again smoke (and this may help reduce passive smoking too) is the True HEPA grade filter. These filters are designed to meet a specific standard that means 99.97% of particles down to 0.3 microns are captured. 0.3 microns is very small. This link shows the size of various common (and some not so common) particle sizes.
The final air cleaning feature offered by Winix is their PlasmaWave Technology. This technology gets to work before the air even enters the purifier.
Warning: Some science coming up! PlasmaWave Technology releases positive and negatively charged plasma ions into the room which interact with water molecules in the air to create hydroxyl radicals, These attack airborne pollutants, viruses, odors, cigarette smoke and chemical vapours and destroy their molecular structure, creating water vapour and other harmless molecules. All this happens before the particles even get close to the unit’s filters. It does all this without creating harmful ozone. This process is the same as the process that occurs naturally in our atmosphere to cleanse the air outside.
The unit also has an auto-sensor that detects the air quality, ranking it between 1 (good) and 5 (poor) and then adjusting the fan speed accordingly. This is a must-have feature for smokers as the quality of the air will change depending on whether someone is currently smoking in the room.
It’ll cover up to 350 sq. ft. which will be fine for most small and medium rooms but might not have the power to cleanse larger areas. It’ll be ideal for use in a dedicated smoker’s room.
…there are three smokers in my house (including me) and it does a good job of getting the smoke and smell out – Amazon.com review April 2016
“…excellent device! Exceeds expectations. Keeps the upstairs cigar lounge smoke free” – Amazon.com review 2013
- Uses 2 filters and a Plasma Wave Technology to attack the pollutants on 3 fronts
- Well over 80% of people loved this unit (Amazon.com 4 or 5-star ratings Mar 2017)
- Auto sensing technology so you won’t have to adjust the unit’s fan speed manually when you are smoking
- The design is not inspiring, but this won’t be an issue if you are after something practical rather than something aesthetically pleasing!
- Small coverage 350 sq. ft.