Best Air Purifier for Smoker and Cigarette Smoke Odor Removal
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2019 Best Air Purifier for Smoke And Odor Removal

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.

Everyone Has The Right to Clean Air!

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.

How do we measure?
Smoke CADR CADR is an official figure indicator by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM). Measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM) on its effectiveness to remove gas particles. The purpose of a universal indicator is to help reduce marketing lingo confusion. It helps users identify which air purifiers work better than the others.
Airflow Smoke CADR is a useful benchmark but is not the only measurement we would take into account. Airflow delivery rate is also another key ingredient in our evaluation. The higher the airflow rate is, the faster and more pollutants the air purifier can pull in. Based on that, we would judge the airflow output according to the lowest and highest fan speed. The measurement is also accompanied by the price group and purifying applicable area.
Activated Carbon filter Everyone knows that smoking is bad. Even a single puff of cigarette can cause instant damage to your lungs and DNA. An Activated Carbon filter is here to capture ONLY gas and odor based particles. Literally the opposite of what HEPA filter can do. To make it into our best air purifier for smoker list, the carbon filter must have the capacity in removing tobacco smokes and odors. Bonus added points if the carbon filter is a standalone filter rather than a combined thin sheet.
Specialized smoke's air purifier/ filter Priority will be given to air purifier that utilizes special cigarette smoke filtration. We measure the effectiveness according to its capabilities to remove radon, VOCS. CO or any other chemicals throw at it. The add-on filter should be a compliment to the existing filtration set. Not as a carbon filter replacement.

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.
For generic air purifiers that target chemicals fumes, please visit Best Air Purifier for Chemicals, VOCs and Cooking Odors list.

Best Air Purifier for Smoker 2019

airflow
Airflow
41-300 cfm (70-510 m3/h)
carbon filter
With
V5-Cell Gas & Odor Filter MG
other filter
With
Specialized smoke filtration

The premium selection air purifier. 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. This is the ideal model for people that hang around with smokers indoor all the time.

What's cool: V5-Cell Gas & Odor Filter MGOdor is your answer. Why? 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.

What's not: The strong airflow filtration often co-relate to an air purifier bulkiness. No exception with IQAir HealthPro Plus. More critically, the expensive price tag also means it would only be off limits to common folks.

In short: Pretty much untouchable in our best air purifier for smoker list, is not all perfect though. The lack of autonomous purifying is a big downer. Plus the premium price that would only appeal to few. If you are the selected few and would like something greater, consider IQAir GC MultiGas. The ultimate chemical machine remover.
MRSP/ RSP**
± 899 p
     Annual filter ^    
± 152 p
Online price*
Latest Amazon price
Smoke CADR
Smoke CADR
640 cfm (1087 m3/h)
carbon filter
With
Blueair Classic 500/600 Series SmokeStop Filter
other filter
With
Specialized smoke filtration

Staying with smokers. If you have resorted all possible way 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.

What's cool: Wide 775 sq. ft. purifying coverage and a generous amount of airflow circulation for at start. The superb SmokeStop filter will capture all harmful chemicals from a ciggy. Finally, there is also Wi-Fi connectivity where everything can be control remotely. No longer you have to breathe any residue cigarette odor before stepping into a smoker’s room.

What's not: Very expensive especially on the annual filter replacement cost. There is also the bulkiness factor that makes it unusable in tight spaces. Background noise is on the louder end especially with full blast.

In short: Prevention is better than cure. Purchasing Blueair 605 will be a very expensive prevention. That's the price you have to pay if you want to clear off lingering pollutants in a snap.
MRSP/ RSP**
± 749.99 p
     Annual filter ^    
± 230 - 460 p
Online price*
Latest Amazon price
Smoke CADR
Smoke CADR
246 cfm (418 m3/h)
airflow
Airflow
53 - 226 cfm (90 - 384 m3/h)
carbon filter
With
AOC Advanced Granular Carbon Filter
other filter
With
Specialized smoke filtration

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.

What's cool: AOC Advanced Granular Carbon filter does a remarkable job wiping out cigarette smell. Accompany with PlasmaWave Technology, 360 sq. ft. coverage and 232 cfm smoke CADR. Timer, AQ indicator, sensor, Auto/ Sleep mode, remote control all come standard. Even premium models don't have all of these features.

What's not: Both HEPA and carbon filter require annual change and is far from cheap. If you want to be picky, autonomous mode does not react fast enough to nearby odors.

In short: 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 especially in long-term ownership.
MRSP/ RSP**
± 249.99 p
     Annual filter ^    
± 80 p
Online price*
Latest Amazon price
Smoke CADR
Smoke CADR
260 cfm (442 m3/h)
carbon filter
With
Max2 (Activated carbon filter)
other filter
With
Specialized smoke filtration

The new kid on the block, 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 pass the multi-stage filtration.

What's cool: For start, most features can be access remotely via Airmega app (available in Android and iOS). Super wide 1560 sq. ft. purifying coverage is what next. Follow by the combined power of MAX2 filter. The 99% efficiency carbon filter is excellent at reducing second-hand smoke odors.

What's not: The cost. 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).

In short: Beautifully designed with many striking elements. 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.
MRSP/ RSP**
± 749 p
     Annual filter ^    
± 100 p
Online price*
Latest Amazon price
Smoke CADR
Smoke CADR
300 cfm (510 m3/h)
airflow
Airflow
150-286 cfm (255-486 m3/h)
HEPA filter
With
HEPA-OdorCell filter
other filter
With
Specialized smoke filtration

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.

What's cool: Space-saving HEPA-OdorCell filter, strong airflow and high smoke CADR. 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.

What's not: No separate carbon filter for sale. Regardless if is HEPA-Silver, HEPA-FreshPlus, or HEPA-OdorCell, you will need to purchase the bundled pack. Noise level is not ideal but liveable.

In short: A good smoke air purifier when you choose the right filter. 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.
MRSP/ RSP**
± 599 p
     Annual filter ^    
± 46 - 138 p
Online price*
Latest Amazon price
airflow
Airflow
58-218 cfm (99-370 m3/h)
carbon filter
With
MinusA2 Charcoal-Based Activated Carbon Filter
other filter
With
Specialized smoke filtration

Replacing HealthMate Plus in the list is the all-new Rabbit Air MinusA2 SPA-780A. We highly rate this smoke eater air purifier for many reasons. None-so than its comprehensive 6-stage filtration. This air purifier is excellent in banishing cigarette smoke and odors particles out of your breathing space. Lastly, the 815 sq. ft purifying range and punchy airflow delivery rate don't sound too bad either.

What's cool: Smoke removal Charcoal-Based Activated Carbon Filter is a good start. Choose (and pay) Toxin Absorber or Odor Remover filter for enhanced odor elimination. There is also the customizable front panel and wall-mountable framework. Thoughtful design that many of you can live without.

What's not: Expensive yet with below average CADR. Not horrible but certainly not great either. Its thick body might not be everyone’s fancy.

In short: The only 6-stage filtration air purifier here that is mountable. Rabbit Air MinusA2 bring smoker air purifier to a whole new level. It is also one of the best air purifier for smoker that has a below par CADR. Pricing is high but filter maintenance is low. If Wi-Fi enabled feature is your thing, go with the hot new SPA-780N version.
MRSP/ RSP**
± 599.95 p
     Annual filter ^    
± 43 - 85 p
Online price*
Latest Amazon price
carbon filter
With
Activated Carbon Filter
other filter
With
Specialized smoke filtration

It might be the cheapest odor eliminator in our list, Levoit LV-H132 is still capable of doing its job. Add that with a genuine 3-stage HEPA filtration and a compact body. This very low price tag air purifier is the perfect gift for smoker that just won't quit.

What's cool: Less than $100 with a True HEPA filter and dedicated activated carbon filter. It's super cheap to replace both filters. Night light is cool to have even it has nothing to do with smoke.

What's not: This is the least effective carbon filter here in removing tobacco smoke. Purifying coverage is also very limited. Even if you puff straight at the air purifier, it would not be able to capture all smoke.

In short: No air purifier is strong enough to justify smokers from smoking indoors. Levoit LV-H132 does an even poorer job convincing that. 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.
MRSP/ RSP**
± 89.99 p
     Annual filter ^    
± 40 p
Online price*
Latest Amazon price

🏆 Honorable mention

Here are few more honorable mention that didn't quite made it to the list. Take a look as it could still turn up to be your next odor eliminator companion.

📃 Previous holder

  • Holmes HAP75-UC2 Smoke Grabber Ashtray
  • Airmega 400S
  • Austin Air HealthMate Plus

Best Air Purifier for Smoker Comparison Table

Air PurifierFiltrationCoverageScoreOnline Price
IQAir HealthPro Plus4-stage1098 sq. ft. (102 m2)9.6
Blueair 6053-stage775 sq. ft. (72 m2)9
Winix 5500-24-stage360 sq. ft. (33 m2)8.5
Airmega 300S4-stage1256 sq. ft. (117 m2)9.1
Alen BreatheSmart Classic3-stage1100 sq. ft. (102 m2)8.8
Rabbit Air MinusA2 SPA-780A6-stage815 sq. ft. (76 m2)9.1
Levoit LV-H1323-stage129 sq. ft. (12 m2)7.4

Additional Information

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 on 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.

  1. Do not smoke - If you must, smoke near a window or in an open-space area. Wash your hands after smoke and if possible.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Turn on an air purifier and keep it on - Reduce the housekeeping workload and prevent the toxic from re-spreading.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Airflow delivery rate - The higher the airflow output, the more ciggy chemicals will be absorbed by the carbon filter. Same applies to cigarette smell.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.