Smoking is becoming a cult, a religion, an addictive habit that is hard to quit. In this best air purifier for smoker post, we will be focusing on the health effects smoking brings. You will also learn more about tobacco smoke plus the toxic and chemicals associated with it.
To qualify, we will measure the air purifier effectiveness against gas-based pollutants. This includes smoke CADR, carbon filter, airflow distribution, and any toxic removal specialty. At the end of the post, there will be a counter against the ever-increasing smokers around the world.
What chemicals is in tobacco smoke?
Here’s a scary stat from CDC. Around 15% of the non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke, resulted in 41,000 deaths annually in U.S. alone. But what’s the big deal about second-hand smoke? There are over 4000–7000 chemicals in cigarettes. At least 250 of them are harmful substances to our body and 70 of them are carcinogenic or Cancer linked. Some of the most notorious chemicals found in just one cigarette includes:
- Addictive Nicotine
- Ammonia (cleaning product)
- Carbon monoxide (poisonous gas)
- Arsenic (rat poisons)
- Cadmium (batteries)
- DDT (insecticide)
- Formaldehyde (preservation for dead specimens)
- Methoprene (also insecticide)
- Lead (poisonous)
- Polonium (radioactive element)
Many types of Cancer are associated with chemicals above especially to our lungs. Prolong exposure will have a devastating impact on larynx, stomach, kidney and more. Quit smoking is ideal but not always the available option. So getting an air purifier for smoker might be the next best thing.
Who is this for?Heavy smokers that smoke indoor would greatly benefit from the list. Social, casual smoker or person staying with or around smokers also fit into the bill. A person staying nearby industrial area with high air quality index (AQI) e.g. Beijing. Newborn, baby or children with developing body immune system. Elderly or recovering patient that have a weakened immune system. Finally, anyone that needs a healthy, clean air environment free from second-hand smoke.
2020 Best Air Purifier for Smoker
|Air Purifier||Online Price (Amazon)||Filtration||Coverage||Score|
|IQAir HealthPro Plus Air Purifier|
|4-stage||1098 sq. ft. (102 m2)||5|
|Blueair 605 Air Purifier|
|3-stage||775 sq. ft. (72 m2)||5|
|Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier|
|4-stage||360 sq. ft. (33 m2)||5|
|Airmega 300S Air Purifier|
|4-stage||1256 sq. ft. (117 m2)||4.5|
|Alen BreatheSmart Classic Air Purifier|
|3-stage||1100 sq. ft. (102 m2)||4.5|
|Rabbit Air MinusA2 SPA-780A Air Purifier|
|6-stage||815 sq. ft. (76 m2)||4.5|
|Levoit LV-H132 Air Purifier|
|3-stage||129 sq. ft. (12 m2)||4|
The premium selection air purifier. IQ Air HealthPro Plus is our first pick in the lot against the never-ending cigarette battle. Powered by an all-around 320-degree distribution and a wide 1098 sq. ft. purifying coverage, V5-Cell Gas & Odor Filter MGOdor is your answer. The inclusion of Pelletized chemisorption will absorb any chemicals from cigarette smoke. It will also reduce the cigarette smell from staining your shirt. All these can be done within a short period of time thanks to the powerful 300 cfm airflow with 6 fan speed controls.
Pretty much untouchable in our best air purifier for smoker list, HealthPro Plus is not all perfect though. The strong airflow filtration often co-relate to an air purifier bulkiness. The lack of autonomous purifying is a big downer. More critically, the expensive price tag also means it would only appeal to a few. If you are the selected few and would like something greater, consider IQAir GC MultiGas. The ultimate chemical machine remover.
- Certified Switzerland made quality with zero-leak triple-seal technology.
- V5-Cell MG Granular activated Carbon filter is one of the best in capturing cigarette smoke and odors.
- Long usage lifespan on all filters.
- Complete coverage with PreMax pre-filter and HyperHEPA.
- Low noise level despite having a powerful 320-degree airflow distribution.
- 6 selectable speed, programmable timer, and remote control.
- Fixed premium price.
- No dust & odor sensors = no automatic fan speed setting and air quality indicator.
- Big and chunky to move around even with its caster wheels.
Staying with smokers. If you have resorted to all possible ways of stopping indoor smoking, Blueair 605 is your next bet. All thanks to the crazy high smoke CADR output at 500 cfm. The figure alone would easily qualify it as the best air purifier for smokers. Then there is the wide 775 sq. ft. purifying coverage and a generous amount of airflow circulation. The superb SmokeStop filter will capture all harmful chemicals from a ciggy. Finally, there is also Wi-Fi connectivity where everything can be controlled remotely. No longer you have to breathe any residue cigarette odor before stepping into a smoker’s room.
Prevention is better than cure. Purchasing Blueair 605 will be a very expensive prevention. From the RSP to the filter replacement cost, nothing is cheap. There is also the bulkiness factor that makes it unusable in tight spaces. Background noise is on the louder end especially with full blast. That's the price you have to pay if you want to clear off lingering pollutants in a snap.
- Supports Wi-Fi pairing for Blueair app and Amazon Alexa integration.
- SmokeStop Filter works well with HEPASilent technology in capturing all smoke particles.
- Strong 650 cfm airflow and can rapidly capture chemical smokes before it starts staining the household.
- High 500+ cfm CADR for dust, pollen, and smoke.
- Premium build quality with a galvanized steel body.
- The most expensive Blueair Classic series.
- Filter replacement costs can go up to 400+ annually.
- Lacks air quality sensors that are required for Auto mode.
Smoker or non-smoker, we got you covered. Winix 5500-2 is the perfect example of how to make a solid air purifier with a dedicated carbon filter. It also cost at least 2-3 times less than premium air purifiers in the market. The AOC Advanced Granular Carbon filter does a remarkable job wiping out cigarette smell. Adding to that is PlasmaWave Technology, 3 preset timers, AQ indicator, Auto/ Sleep mode, and a helpful remote control. Even premium models do not bundle with these features.
This is the ideal model for people that hang around with smokers indoor all the time. Winix 5500-2 is considerably affordable in our best air purifier for smokers list. That does not mean airflow performance and purifying coverage is poor. It's actually punching above its weight considering what the competitors churn out. Annual filter replacement cost is the only hindering factor in long-term ownership. If you want to be picky, the autonomous mode also does not react fast enough to nearby odors.
- Outstanding specification (remote control bundled) for its price point.
- Decent 200+ cfm smoke CADR with 360 square feet medium room size.
- Standalone odor removal AOC carbon filter that pairs well with True-HEPA and PlasmaWave.
- Auto mode and autonomous Sleep mode thanks to the light sensor.
- The AOC carbon filter can be slightly costly to replace.
- There is a short delay in the sensor's reaction against surrounding smoke particles.
Beautifully designed with many striking elements. Airmega 300S is a sub-brand created by the water purifier giant Coway. This smoke eliminator machine is very effective with chemicals emitted from a cigarette. No toxic will be able to get past the multi-stage filtration. For start, the super-wide 1560 sq. ft. purifying coverage is a must to tackle the on-flowing fumes. Follow by the 99% efficiency carbon filter designed to reduce indoor second-hand smoke and odors. There is also the convenience Airmega app for remote access and advanced functionality.
Beauty comes with a price and in Airmega 300S case, is not cheap. Wi-Fi and app support could be smoother. Minor but insignificant complains including no ionizer, and no built-in timer (app-based). The flaws might not be a big deal unless you really focus on it. Skipping the Wi-Fi enabled feat, consider the non-S Airmega 300 or the higher-spec 400 version. Otherwise, you could be better off with a cheaper, old-school air purifier.
- 4-stage filtration with wide applicable area and 2 Pre-filter on both sides.
- Traps allergens, smoke and strong odor with ease thanks to the combined Max2 filter (Activated carbon filter + HEPA).
- Reasonable Max2 filter replacement cost.
- Wi-Fi enabled for remote access and other functionality.
- Advanced features like adjustable sensor's sensitivity, Auto mode, real-time air quality display.
- Expensive but there are huge discounts online.
- Timer is only accessible via the app.
- Lacks autonomous sleep mode that is only available in 400 series.
Used to be the only air purifier for smoker here that comes with a customizable front panel. Alen BreatheSmart would do an impeccable job against tobacco smoke chemicals. If, and if you opt for HEPA-OdorCell filter upgrade pack. The space-saving HEPA-OdorCell filter, strong airflow, and high 300 cfm smoke CADR is a bliss to use. Features like timer, air quality sensors, and Auto mode all come standard. Theoretically, you could leave Alen BreatheSmart unattended and let it work its magic.
A good smoke air purifier when you choose the right filter. Regardless if is HEPA-Silver, HEPA-FreshPlus, or HEPA-OdorCell, you will need to purchase the bundled pack. The noise level is not ideal but liveable. If you don't quite fancy Classic, there are few variants of BreatheSmart you could opt for. The smaller BreatheSmart Fit50 or even smaller Flex that lacks sensors/ Auto mode. [UPDATE] Alen has added BreatheSmart 45i and 75i model in its lineup. Do check them out.
- Customizable front panel design with tons of options.
- Wide 1100 sq. ft coverage supported by an abundant of airflow.
- Upgradable HEPA-OdorCell filter that is specifically designed to remove microbes, smoke, and odors.
- Long-lasting 18 months filter lifespan.
- Timer, child lock, and Smart Filter replacement indicator.
- Lifetime Limited Warranty.
- Lacks odor filtration on the default HEPA-Pure filter.
- No dedicated odor carbon filter (comes in a bundled set).
Replacing HealthMate Plus in the list is the all-new Rabbit Air MinusA2 SPA-780A. It was a wide 815 sq. ft purifying range and thoughtful design elements that many of you can live without. We highly rate this smoke eater air purifier for many reasons. None-so than its comprehensive 6-stage filtration. Our focus will be on the smoke removal Charcoal-Based Activated Carbon Filter. It will banish cigarette smoke and odors particles out of your breathing space. If you need stronger odor filtration, upgrade to the toxin absorber or odor remover filter.
The only 6-stage air purifier here with the customizable front panel and wall-mountable framework. Rabbit Air MinusA2 brings a smoker air purifier to a whole new level. Unfortunately, it is expensive yet with below-average CADR. Not horrible but certainly not great either. Its thick body might not be everyone’s fancy. If Wi-Fi enabled feature is your thing, go with the hot new SPA-780N version.
- 6-stage HEPA filtration with medium filter, negative ion generator, and customizable filter options.
- Very low annual filter replacement cost.
- Mountable, square-shaped design with interchangeable panel and mood light color bar.
- Effective Smoke grabber AC carbon filter.
- Auto, Pollen, and Sleep mode that is light sensitive.
- Pricey for the low CADR, and airflow output.
- Heavy despite being wall-mountable.
It might be the cheapest odor eliminator in our list, Levoit LV-H132 is still capable of doing its job. It comes with a True HEPA filter and a dedicated activated carbon filter. Night light is cool to have even it has nothing to do with smoke. Add that with a genuine 3-stage filtration and a compact cylinder body. This very low price tag air purifier is the perfect gift for a smoker that just won't quit.
No air purifier is strong enough to justify smokers from smoking indoors. Levoit LV-H132 does an even poorer job convincing that. This is the least effective carbon filter here in removing tobacco smoke. Purifying coverage is also very limited. Still, it's cheap and works against cigarette smoke reduction. Again we must emphasize, smoking outdoor or at least through a window would be a much better solution.
- Cost around 80 dollars for a True HEPA air purifier.
- Very low filter replacement cost.
- Compact 3-stage filtration with a special carbon filter.
- Dimmable night light.
- Below-par Activated Carbon filter.
- Tiny purifying coverage that is only meant for desktop use.
What Is Activated Carbon Filter?
Activated Carbon Filter is a type of deodorization filter used to remove smoke and odor particles. Through a process called adsorption, where a porous adsorbent material would hold on to gas or liquid molecules from a substance. Not to be confused with Absorption that refers to liquid dissolvement.
Most activated carbon filter is made of charcoal, wood and coconut shell crushed into granules. Premium filter media include impregnated nutshells, lignite, potassium iodide or zeolite. Typical carbon filter can remove smoke particle sizes ranging from 0.5 to 50 microns.
Activated carbon filter is commonly found on an air purifier to capture smoke and odor. This includes chemicals from household object e.g. VOCs, Benzene, Ammonia, Radon. Tobacco smoke chemicals like Carbon monoxide, Formaldehyde is also in the inclusion list.
Which Is The Best Third Hand Smoke Air Purifier?
None because air purifiers cannot deal with third-hand smoke. It can only capture airborne particles like smoke or odor. Third-hand smoke is an invincible, residual chemical from a cigarette. It can be found clinging on surfaces e.g. clothes, furniture, bedding, carpet, and wall. The exposed residual would stack up over time and react to other toxic substances. this would create toxic that is hazardous to even to non-smoker. Unless you could stay in a smoke-free environment, third-hand smoke would remain for months on things it touches.
- Toys - Soft toys, rubber toys, Barbie dolls, teethers, Lego, action figures
- Clothes and accessories - Cap, hijab, scarf, gloves, shirt, dress, coat, and even your undergarment
- Furniture – Any type of upholstery from sofa, armchairs, couches, ottoman.
- Bedroom and linen - Pillows, bed sheets, blankets, comforter,headboards, mattresses
- Flooring – Floorboard and natural stone tiles e.g. wood, vinyl, sandstone, ceramic, granite, porcelain
- Wall and ceiling - Drywall, brick, lath, plywood, wallpaper, cement board, plaster, drop ceilings, ceiling planks
- Curtain and carpet - Drapes, blinds, shades, animal skin rug, Saxony, frieze, office carpet tiles
- Air vents – Appliances that allow air to pass in and out e.g. air purifier, air conditioner, ventilation fan, heating system
- Personal belongings – Hair, mobile phone/ iPad cover, handbag, backpack, watch with leather or nylon strap
- Vehicle interior – Dashboard and upholstery
- Hair - Long or short no exclusion
How Long Does Third hand Smoke Last?
Depends on the volume of the buildup. Third-hand smoke residues will remain in its place even after months of quitting. This is according to a study done by researchers at San Diego State University. When a home stayed smoke-free for 6 months, user will have a significant drop of nicotine on their fingers and body. Unfortunately, the levels of nicotine and carcinogen substances in a home remained unchanged. This is because the toxic residues have penetrated into the porous items e.g. wood, fabric or carpet. Unless there is some form of action taken, all family members will be exposed to the smoke compounds. Putting their health in perpetual risk.
Smoking cessation does play a big part in reducing the number of smoke buildup. The lesser the buildup, the less third-hand smoke residue will be.
Due to the limited researches on third-hand smoke, some of the information is dated a few years back. Use it sparingly.
How To Get Rid of Thirdhand Smoke?
There is no doubt about the negative health effects third-hand smoke brings to the table. Unlike secondhand smoke, third-hand smoke leaves residues toxin that will not go away. The residues will penetrate deep into porous materials and accumulate over time. In long-run, your house will be filled with unpleasant odor as traditional ways of airing out a room don't cut it.
Below are some simple but often neglected tips you could do to reduce the danger of third-hand smoke.
- Do not smoke - If you must, smoke near a window or in an open-space area. Wash your hands after smoke and if possible.
- Choose your spot - Avoid hanging out in common places e.g. bar that allows smokers to smoke indoor. After an outing with smokers, change your cloth straight away when you’re back home.
- Keep it clean - Wash all your clothes, bedding, children toys regularly or when exposed to third-hand smoke. Very important especially if you have children.
- Replace when needed - The residues from third-hand smoke will stack up over time. Reupholster and re-carpet when washing proves no avail. Replace smoke-filled, household objects that are beyond redemption.
- Routine housekeeping - Mop the floor at least weekly. For hard surfaces, use natural ingredients like baking soda or household detergent. Clean tabletop, air vent, counter, shelf to avoid third-hand smoke from building up.
- Turn on an air purifier and keep it on - Reduce the housekeeping workload and prevent the toxic from re-spreading.
- Choose wisely - Avoid purchasing a home that smells unless you plan to knock down the entire place for renovation. Alternatively, hire a professional cleaner to perform a thorough cleaning before moving in.
- Ozone generator - Yes, the notorious ozone generator. It can remove parts of the odor stuck to porous material but beware. Improper use of ozone generator at home will have reverse health effects to your body.
Health Benefits Of a Smoke Air Purifier
Everyone knows the danger of smoking but most people choose to ignore it. Not only it will lead to smoker's breath that can be annoying on its own, smoking will also increase the risk of cancer on the nose, voice box, and liver. If you are a smoker or constantly breathing in to second-hand, you are at risk of following diseases.
- Lung Cancer
- Oropharyngeal Cancer
- Esophageal Cancer
- COPD (Chronic bronchitis, Emphysema)
- Heart Disease
- Aortic Aneurysm
To tackle smoke and the chemical residues, a smoke air purifier will be beneficial to our health. It is proven again and again through government agencies, various studies, and researches. The strong airflow will swiftly pull in smoke particles to the carbon filter and prevent us from inhaling to the harmful toxic. The most obvious benefit is smoke air purifiers will get rid of the foul, lingering cigarette smell. In the long-run, it will reduce the risk of getting cancer, cardiovascular, and respiratory diseases. We will also less likely to trigger asthma and allergic reactions. This includes shortness of breath, hay fever, skin aging, itchy eyes, and other irritations. If you have a baby at home, an air purifier will ensure their immune system development is not compromised. So make sure to invest in a good mechanical air purifier with carbon filter for a healthier living lifestyle.
What To Look For When Buying a Smoker Air Purifier
Whether is first-hand or second-hand, inhaling to cigarette smoke is bad. Prolonged exposure to the toxic can cause lung diseases, trigger a heart attack, or cancer. A good air purifier needs to be ready and stand guard all the time from all the ongoing pollutants. To achieve that, look out for the below tips in choosing the best smoker air purifier.
- Cost of ownership - Don’t just look at the purchasing price. An air purifier filters need to be replaced and in long-run, it’s going to cost you.
- Size and weight - A good air purifier tends to be large and bulky. If you smoke on your desk or on a fixed spot, you may consider a smaller, space-saving air purifier.
- Airflow delivery rate - The higher the airflow output, the more ciggy chemicals will be absorbed by the carbon filter. Same applies to cigarette smell.
- Room size - Highly depends on where the smoke activities are. You will need a bigger air purifier for living hall and a smaller air purifier for bedroom. We recommend looking at the coverage based on 4 air charges per hour.
- Smoke CADR - Official measurement by AHAM that is only available on participant air purifier. In most cases, CADR above 150 cfm would be decent enough in capturing cigarette vapor and odor.
- Carbon filter - The key filtration. Avoid going for thin carbon sheet filter that barely removes any smoke particles. 2-in-1 carbon pre-filter is fine but preferably go with a dedicated carbon filter. Look for keywords like impregnated with odor removing granular, carbon or zeolite.
- Auto mode - We recommend turning the air purifier on 24x7 even when there is no smoker around. Auto mode will manage the airflow speed when a high smoke level is detected.
- Power consumption and noise level - Pick those with Auto, Sleep or Eco mode. Most air purifiers have a similar range of power usage with the exception of few powerhouse machines. Noise level is less important since most smokers don’t smoke on their bed.
- Branding reputation - Air purifier today have better reliability than the price tag might suggest otherwise. For ultimate peace of mind, choose the one that offers the longest warranty period. Look into details what does the warranty cover e.g. 1-to-1 exchange. After service support and location is also another thing to consider.
Other Types of Air Purifiers for Smoke
Other than the mechanical air cleaners that we highly recommend, there are alternative types of air purifiers in the market. Some are generally a better odor remover while others use a more eco-friendly purification technique. Through different or combined technology to remove smoke particles, let's explore each variant and how it works.
- HEPA: Relying on a fiberglass filter to trap microscopic particles including bacteria and viruses. Most HEPA air purifiers will combine with pre-filter and carbon filter to complete the purification cycle. There are two types of HEPA filter: True HEPA filter with 99.97% efficiency at 0.3 microns or lower, or HEPA-type filter with 99% efficiency as small as 2 microns. A true HEPA filter has to reach industry-standard i.e. IEST, UL.
- Carbon: AKA odor eliminator, a carbon air purifier will eliminate all smoke impurities including chemical fumes. Through its porous absorption materials such as zeolite, granular, charcoal, or carbon sheet, and baking soda. Basically it captures what HEPA filter can't and is best paired with other filtration.
- UV/ Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation Cleaner: UVGI is a common disinfection or sterilizing technology used in many cleaning appliances. Instead of using a conventional fan, it uses Ultraviolet light kills to cells through molecules reaction. UV light itself can destroy microbes, bacteria, smoke, and odor. You can find UV air purifier as a standalone unit or part of the combined filtration.
- Ionizer: Not to be confused with an ozone generator where we will touch on later. Ionizer is a filterless technology that will take down airborne contaminants including smoke. By releasing negative ions into the air, the ions will then stick to positive ions particles. This causes an increased weight therefore the merged particles will fall to the ground. However, ionizer will not eliminate the pollutants, unlike UV light. The smoke and odor will still be scattered around the house and can be stir back up in the air. It is best to pair ionizer technology with a mechanical filter that will trap the fallen particles.
- Electrostatic Precipitator: Think about it as an upgraded version to an ionizer with vented collector plates. An electrostatic will release millions of negative ions to combine with positive ion particles. The heavier particles will drop, a fan will draw it to the charged plates and trap it. The entire process is eco-friendly as the plates are washable and reusable for life. Keep in mind though the smoke particles from cigar or cigarette might redeposit back to the air during washing. It is also less effective than a mechanical air purifier with HEPA and activated carbon filter.
- Ozone Generator/ Ozonator: The only no-no on the list. It is once touted the miracle, fast pace odor and germs removal which EPA has disproved. It is also falsely advertised as the only device that would kill odors that have stained a household. In reality, the strong ozone smell will actually numb our senses thus masking any smoke odors. Inhaling to ozone is also extremely detrimental to our health. It will lead to choking, thin out lung tissue cells, aggravate asthma, and lung cancer. Never buy an ozone generator to get rid of smoke or odor.