Unless you’re living in an episode of Mad Men, you probably don’t want a haze of smoke flowing through your home or office. Whether it’s from cigarettes, weed or wildfires you need an air purifier which can snatch the particles as well as hushing that sour smoky smell.

We’ve searched the world of air purifiers to find the very best models for all kinds of smoke. But first, we’ve identified exactly what features an air purifier needs to have in order to be up to the job.

What kind of filters are an absolute must have? Are there cheaper options out there? What are the best models for large spaces? Read on to get the lowdown.

How do air purifiers work?

Air purifiers are supposed to circulate the air in the room, capturing allergens, odors and other airborne nasties. It then pushes the clean air around the room for a fresh, safe and odor-neutral environment. Air purifiers can help smokers or people who live in close proximity to smokers (i.e. in an apartment where a smoker lives below) by keeping the air clear, clean and safe to breathe. 

What makes an air purifier good for smoke?

An air purifier needs to be able to handle two main things: the smoke particles themselves, and the odors they bring along.

Cigarette and cigar smoke is full of chemicals, tar and other things you don’t want floating in your air and settling on your carpets, curtains and nostrils for that matter. Therefore, an air purifier needs to be adept at capturing smoke particles and odor in order to be an effective smoke air purifier.

More specifically, these are the features and specs to keep an eye out for:

  • Pre-filter capable of trapping tar
  • True-HEPA filter for capturing smoke particles 
  • Activated carbon filter for reducing and neutralising odors 
  • Different fan speeds and ideally, a smart sensor so it can sense when there’s a fresh wave of smoke

Best air purifier for cigarette and cigar smoke removal

Cigarettes and cigars leave a pungent smell when smoked inside, or even when they’re smoked outside when the doors are open. Second-hand smoke isn’t something you want floating around your home, settling on the furniture and in the curtains. You need a good HEPA filter, an activated carbon filter and different fan speeds to handle the job. 

AllerAir AirMedic Pro 5 HDS

This is a very effective air purifier on the higher (really high, up to $930.00) end of the price line. But it’s on this list because it has been designed especially for cigarette/cigar smoke management in the home. The HEPA filtration is next level, capturing 99.99% of particles as small as 0.1 microns. The tar-trapping pre-filter and activated carbon filter give extra odor killing and tar-clearing support.

Top features

  • Super HEPA filter which catches 99.99% of particles as small as 0.1 microns
  • Tar-trapping pre-filter
  • Activated carbon filter for reducing smoky odors

Click here to see the AllerAir AirMedic Pro 5 on Amazon

Fellowes AeraMax Air Purifier 200

If the AllerAir price tag is just too colossal, then something like the Fellowes AeraMax 200 could be ideal. At under $200 you get an air purifier which captures smoke particles (thanks to the true-HEPA filter) and reduces smoke odors with the activated carbon filter. It has the AeroSmart auto-detect smart sensor which automatically changes the fan speed depending on how much smoke is detected.

(Note; it does have an ioniser which may be a deal-breaker for you depending on your views on ozone).

Top features

  • True-HEPA filtration
  • Antimicrobial filter (great for other nasties such as mold)
  • Activated carbon filter for those smoky, stale smells
  • Smart Sensor assesses the air quality (i.e. how much smoke is present) and changes the fan speed accordingly
  • Pretty decent price for the quality and features
  • 4 fan speeds

Click here to see the Fellowes AeraMax on Amazon

Rabbit Air MinusA2 Air Purifier

A really thorough air purifier for cigarette smoke-filled rooms. The true HEPA filter captures particles, the activated carbon filter clears the odors and the customized filter captures extra odors and allergens which may have slipped through the other filters. It does have an ion generator but you can choose to turn it off. It’s generally priced around $550 so it isn’t a light investment.

Top features

  • Great for big rooms up to 700 square feet
  • True-HEPA filter for smoke particles 
  • Activated carbon filter for reducing smoke smells
  • Customized filter for removing extra odors
  • Can be mounted on the wall or free-standing
  • Has a light sensor which switches the unit to sleep mode when in a dark room

Click here to see the Rabbit Air MinusA2 on Amazon

Best air purifier for weed

Whether you, someone in your home or someone in an adjoined apartment smokes up, you’ll need an air purifier to take care of the smell and smoke particles. Again, an activated carbon filter and a true-HEPA filter is what you need in your air purifier. You don’t need to go over the top with prices, there are some great ones for lower budgets, (great for student flats or dorms). 

Levoit LV-pur131

This model from Levoit is popular, highly-rated and affordable. It has a pre-filter and true-HEPA filter for smoke particles and an activated carbon filter for thick weed smells. Use the Auto mode during times when weed is being smoked in the home as the air quality sensor will pick it up and increase the fan speed.

Top features

  • True-HEPA filter
  • Activated carbon filter for reducing smoke odors
  • Ozone free (great for people who really want to avoid the ozone issue)
  • Auto-mode changes the fan speed according to the amount of weed smoke present
  • Sleep mode for quiet operation when no weed smoke is present
  • 3 fan speeds
  • Affordable ($170 give or take), great for student houses and apartments

Click here to see the Levoit LV-pur131 on Amazon

Coway AP-1512 Air Purifier

A comprehensive air purifier with a slick, modern appearance. It has 4-stage filtration including true-HEPA, carbon and an ionizer, which is why it’s been placed in the weed category. The particles themselves will be caught by the true-HEPA filter and the carbon filter will take care of the smell. If ionizers aren’t for you, don’t worry as you can turn the ionizer off.

Top features

  • True-HEPA filter for safe removal of weed smoke particles
  • Activated carbon filter for weed smoke odor
  • Eco mode for saving energy during times when weed smoke isn’t present
  • Air quality indicator for detecting weed and adjusting the fan speed when on auto mode
  • Timer with intervals of 1,4 and 8 hours

Click here to see the Coway AP-1512 on Amazon

Best air purifier for wildfire smoke

Many people have to deal with the nuisance and potential harm of wildfire smoke plaguing their neighbourhoods and homes. This is serious business and a really good air purifier is necessary to keep everyone safe and healthy.

Purezone 3-in-1 True HEPA air purifier

Customers absolutely love this model and some have even specified that it has greatly helped during times when wildfire smoke is rife. It has a true-HEPA filter and a carbon filter for trapping smoke particles and keeping the air clear of smoke smell.

Top features

  • True-HEPA filter
  • Activated carbon filter for wildfire smoke odors
  • UV-C light mode which can be turned off
  • 3 fan speeds for adjusting as wildfire smoke increases and decreases
  • Timer with intervals of 2, 4 and 8 hours
  • Sleek, curved white design

Click here to see the Purezone 3-in-1 on Amazon

Austin Air HealthMate Plus Air Purifier   

This is a heavyweight air purifier designed for people with pretty severe allergies. It has a true-HEPA filter and an activated carbon filter. The carbon filter is a little different here as it has been spiked with potassium iodide for extra absorption of smoke, odors and other nasty gasses. It is expensive (depending on where you get it it can be up to $700) but it’s worth it if wildfire smoke is a big problem for you. It’s also great for severe asthmatics and allergy sufferers.

Top features

  • True-HEPA filter for smoke particles
  • Activated carbon filter with potassium iodide for extra absorption of smoke odors and related chemicals
  • Covers up to 1500 square feet of space
  • Comes with a 5-year warranty
  • 3 fan speeds

Click here to see the Austin Air HealthMate Plus Air Purifier on Amazon

What are the best air purifier for smoke under $100

Just because a price seems measly, it doesn’t mean the product doesn’t stand up against the big boys. In fact, some of the cheapest air purifiers happen to be the most loved and raved about. The two on this list are well equipped with the right filters to handle the smokiest indoor fugs.

GermGuardian AC4825

This model is under $100 when on special, which is most often, so it’s been slipped into this category. It’s a very reliable air purifier for smoke because it has a true-HEPA filter, an activated carbon filter for odors and a UV-C light for other airborne nuisances. If UV-C lights just aren’t your thing, you can switch it off no problem.

Top features

  • True-HEPA filtration
  • Activated carbon filter
  • UV-C light filter (can be switched off)
  • Sleek design
  • Great for small apartments or individual rooms (155 square feet coverage)

Click here to see the GermGuardian AC4825 on Amazon

Levoit LV-132 Air Purifier with True HEPA Filter  

This is a very strong contender for the price, aesthetic and functionality for homes dealing with smoke. It has a true-HEPA filter, activated carbon filter for those sour smoke smells, and three fan speeds. It does have a nightlight but it can be switched off if extra lights bug you.

Top features

  • True-HEPA filter for smoke particles
  • Activated carbon filter for smoke smells
  • Neat, compact and attractive design
  • Does not use any ionizing technology so great for people who avoid ozone

Click here to see the Levoit LV-132 on Amazon

What are the best portable air purifier for cigarette smoke to travel with?

When travelling with appliances like air purifiers, sometimes you have to compromise on a couple of features in order to get that all-important compact size and versatility. That’s true for the second contender on the list, but I think you’ll be impressed all the same.

Holmes Small Room 3-Speed Air Purifier

This model from Holmes has been chosen for this section for its compact size. It can be packed up and stashed in the car, caravan or in the corner of a large suitcase. The only catch here is that you will need to use the aer1 True-HEPA Allergen Performance-Plus replacement filter to catch those smoke particles.

The air purifier comes with an HEPA-type filter which only catches particles as small as 2 microns (smoke particles are smaller than 1 micron). But it’s easy enough to purchase the replacement filter from the Holmes website. 

Top features

  • Can be used with a true-HEPA replacement filter for smoke
  • Compact, small and easy to pack away
  • Has a 3-year warranty
  • Can be setup either horizontally or vertically (great for little motel rooms or caravans where fire or cigarette smoke is present)

Click here to see the Holmes Small Room 3-Speed Air Purifier on Amazon

Wynd Plus – Smart Portable Air Purifier

This little baby weighs less than a pound and is small enough to fit into your backpack (it looks like a little torch). It’s actually a bit of a celebrity in the air purifier world, being voted by TIME as one of 2016’s most impressive inventions. While it doesn’t have the activated carbon filter of the other models on these lists, the size and efficiency makes up for that, especially for when you’re travelling extremely light. 

Top features

  • Tiny size and very light
  • Medical grade filter for trapping smoke particles
  • Has an air-quality tracker so you know how polluted the air is at any time
  • Can be controlled via Wynd app

Click here to see the Wynd Plus on Amazon

What are the best large room air purifier?

It’s important to get an air purifier which can handle the space you’re intending it for. Otherwise you won’t be getting the payoff you need. These air purifiers are all made for rooms at least as large as 500 square feet.

Whirlpool Whispure Air Purifier  

This air purifier has those two key features we know so well by now, a true-HEPA filter and an activated carbon filter for the smoky smells. It caters to a room of 500 square feet which is more than enough for large living rooms. The price isn’t too bad for what the machine offers, you can get it for under $250.00.

Top features

  • True-HEPA filtration for smoke particles
  • Activated carbon filter for smoke smells
  • Caters to large rooms up to 500 square feet
  • Has a Turbo mode for really smoky situations
  • Has a sleep mode for quieter nights

Click here to see the Whirlpool Whispure on Amazon

Lifesmart Medical Grade Air Purifier designed for large rooms

This is a seriously no-nonsense air purifier, as anything with “medical grade” stamped on it usually indicates. The HEPA filter is not only “true” but it is medical grade. The carbon filter is also an amped-up version of the usual, designed to neutralize not only odors but harmful gasses. It’s a good choice for homes where smoke is a problem, and where asthmatics live and breathe. It will take care of all allergens, not only smoke. It’s not the most handsome machine alive, but it certainly does its job.

Top features

  • Caters to rooms as large as 750 square feet
  • Has a medical grade true-HEPA filter for smoke particles
  • Has a military carbon cloth high efficiency gas absorption filter for odors
  • Takes in air from the full 360 degrees around the unit for thorough cleaning
  • 3 fan speeds for increasing and decreasing according to how much smoke is present
  • Designed to run continuously (i.e. not on and off or according to a timer)

Click here to see the Lifesmart Medical Grade Air Purifier on Amazon

Fellowes Aeramax 300/DX95 Large Room Air Purifier

This is a really reasonably-priced model considering what you get for your money and the room size it caters to. It’s ideal for rooms up to 600 square feet and has 4 filtration steps. Now, it does have an ionizer but you can turn it off and forget about it if ionizers are out of bounds for you. The true-HEPA filter, carbon filter and antimicrobial treatment are all fantastic for purifying the air of smoke and associated nasties, odors and any other allergens lurking about.

Top features

  • Caters to rooms from 300 to 600 square feet
  • Has a true-HEPA filter for smoke particles
  • Has an antimicrobial treatment for killing bacteria
  • Has a carbon filter for smoke odors
  • Features a “high performance” mode for times when smoke is thicker than usual or allergies are raging

Click here to see the Fellowes Aeramax 300/DX95 on Amazon

Conclusion

So there we have it. Air purifiers for cigarette smoke, weed smoke and wildfire smoke. As they’ve all got those vital features; true-HEPA filtration and an activated carbon filter, they’ll also protect you against other nasties like mold and pet dander. 

Before you choose one, just jot down these considerations:

  • What size room do you need your air purifier for?
  • Are there any other concerns you have such as mold or pet allergens?
  • What’s your budget?
  • Do you have any specific requirements or preferences for aesthetics/design?
  • Do you prefer reusable or disposable filters or is it not a worry?

Now that you’ve narrowed down what you need, you can match your requirements up with the models on this list to find the best one for you.

As with every appliance under the sun, they all have their flaws which customers have voiced in the review sections. Just for the sake of being absolutely sure of what you’re getting, it’s a good idea to scrawl the comment section. Even with the highest of overall ratings there’s always a few 1-stars in there to give perspective.