Do Air Purifiers Remove Odors? Will It Make My House Smell Better?

A question we been asked far too many times. An air purifier will remove all kinds of odor. The good one and the bad one. From the scented candles, perfume to the stinky diaper, pet saliva and ciggy smell, everything will be wiped out from the air. Still, there is some exception odor that is known to be almost irremovable but we will get into that in the later section together with our top pick odor eliminator machines.
Short answer
Air purifiers + carbon filter will get rid of odors.


Do Air Purifiers Get Rid of Odors

Yes, an air purifier does remove odor from the air but only a certain type of air cleaner will do. To be more specific, only a HEPA air purifier with a carbon filter can get rid of the smell. This includes any odors from cooking, pet, diaper, to wood burning, and cigarette. For chemicals fumes like VOCs, CO, or Radon, it is still removable but you will need a better activated carbon filter from the likes of Blueair or IQAir.

How activated carbon filter works is simple. First, airborne pollutants will be pulled towards the air purifier. Next, the carbon filter absorbent pellet will adhere to inflow odor compounds via chemical adsorption. With the odor trapped inside, the air purifier will release only fresh air without any smell.

What Types of Smell Do Air Purifier Remove?

An air purifier can eliminate all kinds of smell. But in general, these are the 5 odors that most household would encounter.

  1. Smoke – As cover in our previous post, an air purifier will remove most gaseous pollutants but with a caveat. If the smell has stained into porous objects like drape, cloths, or wall, there is nothing an air purifier could do. The perfect example is third-hand smoke that is notoriously difficult to remove. Moral of the story: never smoke indoor even you have an awesome air cleaner.
  2. Pet Odor – They fart, they smells, and they puke. Pet odor is an avoidable package when it comes to owning a pet. No matter how often you bath them, change the litter box or keeping them indoor, the nauseating smell will still come back to haunt you. An air purifier will not only curb down on the pet odors, it will also remove pet dander, germs, and bacteria. With less shed hair floating around, all your pet troubles will eventually go away.
  3. Dirty diapers
    Good news is dirty diaper is only a phase that can be outgrown. Bad news is the odor will permeate the air and will swiftly stink up the place. Sealing a dirty diaper or getting a diaper disposer is the sensible choice, so is getting an air purifier. Your baby will be protected from allergens and viruses while your home will not smell.
  4. Food – A good range hood will do wonders in removing cooking smoke but it can only cover so much. Your deep-fried fish scent will find its way across the room even if you clear up all the food. Don’t get me started on the burned dish that stinks up the whole place serving you as a reminder. This is where an air purifier will come in handy every time you cook. The carbon filter will eat up all the excessive food smell. Think about it has a portable exhaust hood.
  5. Household products – From your daily detergent, perfume, to air freshener and fresh new paint, it will cover them all. Not only an air purifier will remove the emitted most smell, it will also filter out the chemical gas that is bad for our health. keep note that some of the toxic gas is colorless and odorless thus an air purifier should be on 24×7 in the background.

What Is The Best Air Purifier For Odor?

Skip ozonator, ionizer, UV-light types. Go with a classic air purifier with a standalone activated carbon filter (NOT carbon pre-filter). Look for keywords such as alumina, coal, potassium permanganate, coconut shells. Next, choose an air purifier with enough purifying coverage for your entire room. You can learn more about room size calculation here. With that, here are our recommended models that may or may not suit you at the price point.

  1. Blueair 605
  2. IQAir HealthPro Plus
  3. Winix 5500-2
  4. Airmega 300S
  5. Rabbit Air MinusA2

Check out the full reviews at in our best purifier for smell page.

Parents are visiting but can't cover up the burned food, farty pet, musty mold or tobacco odor? Scented candles or room air fresheners is here to save the day by covering up any unpleasant smell. While it does work to a certain extent, fundamentally the artificial fragrance is used to mask away odors that are still lingering the home. Without fixing the root cause of the problem, your home will still reek from your originated smell. An air purifier will make your home smell better for good by thoroughly removing the source of the odors. In the long run, it is more safe and economical than temporary chemical spray. You will never have to depend and inhale to those "magic" gases ever again.

Max Fernandez

A loving father and a dedicated reviewer for airfuji.com with more than 1000 air purifiers under his belt. Max Fernandez is also one of the million patients currently suffering from asthma. Feel free to nudge him if you have any questions.
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