Best Air Purifier for Smoke Removal

Woman smoking indoors
If you or someone in your home smokes cigarettes or cigars, you begin to notice that unmistakable smell of smoke on your clothes and furniture. Spraying air fresheners or burning candles only mask the problem. You can try home remedies like sitting out a bowl of white vinegar or baking soda. But the most effective solution – cleaning the air with a high quality air purifier.

What Kind of Air Purifier Should I Get For Smoke Removal?

Before we get into the specifics of which air purifier works best against smoke odors, let’s go over some of the science behind why smoke removal is so important. As reported by the American Lung Association, “there are approximately 600 ingredients in cigarettes. When burned, cigarettes create more than 7,000 chemicals. At least 69 of these chemicals are known to cause cancer, and many are toxic.” To simplify this, smoke can actually be broken down into two simple components: visible and invisible particles.

The visible elements of smoke are mostly made up of carbon, ash, oils, and tar. These particles only make up roughly 5-8% of a cigarette’s output. The remaining 92-95% of cigarette output is invisible to the human eye. These elements contain a variety of liquid, solid, and gas particles that travel through the air and land on all the surrounding surfaces. These particles are what make the smell of smoke so difficult to remove from your clothing, furniture, and walls.

This mixture of invisible particles is made up of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), along with several toxic gasses, including carbon monoxide, acrolein, hydrogen cyanide, formaldehyde, nitrogen oxide, and more. While this sounds bad already, the reality of the situation is worse. When you burn tobacco, you release more than 150 billion tar particles per cubic inch. This pollution is 10,000 times more concentrated than that given off by automobiles during rush hour traffic.

So the question now remains:

How Do I Eliminate the Airborne Pollutants that Come from Smoke?

In order to properly eliminate all of the polluting components of cigarette and cigar smoke, you will want an air purifier that can attack them all. Many air purifiers on the market will advertise themselves to eliminate gasses and odors. Not only do these air purifiers miss many of the visible components of smoke, such as tar, ash, and oils, but they also fail to capture all of the invisible particles that remain in the air and eventually end up in your lungs. Most purifiers do nothing to remove the VOCs that cause  the odors  that are lingering in your living space. In order to get rid of all the airborne particles from smoke, you will want to get an air purifier that has a specialized filter. These specific filters use ultra-fine glass-fiber substrates which specialize in capturing microscopic particles that would easily pass through other types of filters, and which use the methods of impaction, interception, and diffusion. 


When the largest smoke particles make physical contact with the filter during airflow, they become embedded within the filter’s fibers.


The smaller, medium sized smoke particles that are able to breach the outermost surface of the filter are then snatched up by the filter’s fibers as they pass through and get  trapped inside the filter.


The smallest, microscopic particles that pass through the filter move and interact with the surrounding molecules collected by the filter. These particles start to bounce uncontrollably within the filter, never to escape back into the air. Standard HEPA filters use this method of filtration, as well as newer, more efficient filters available on the market.

However, these filters alone are not equipped to deal with VOCs and odors. Air purifiers  that come with activated carbon filters are the best for both getting rid of VOCs and eliminating odor from the air before they settle onto your clothes or furniture.

Activated carbon filters have ultra-fine pores that are specifically designed to capture the odors and gasses produced from cigarette and cigar smoke. These gasses are collected through a process called adsorption.Adsorption is the process of gaseous molecules adhering to a solid surface. Research has demonstrated that a “two-step process where activated carbon based air purifier systems can be regenerated in situ and eliminate volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from indoor air in an energy efficient way.”

It is important to make sure that the air purifier you choose has enough activated carbon to handle the tobacco pollutants that have built up in your home. Filters like the Enviropure Charcoal Wrap are proven to be effective in dealing with harmful VOCs and smoke odors.

Man smoking cigarette in home

What are the Benefits of an Air Purifier for Smoke?

A high quality air purifier will not only eliminate smoke and smoke pollutants from indoor air, but it will also remove other harmful contaminants such as:

  • Dust
  • Pollen
  • Bacteria
  • Mold Spores
  • Viruses
  • Pet Dander
  • VOCs
  • Allergens

Top-of-the-line air purifiers are also able to run 24/7, making sure that the air is continuously being cleaned and will be targeting the indoor pollutants, even when smoke isn’t present.

Purchasing a high quality air purifier isn’t just about a fresh-smelling home – it’s an investment in your health and well-being for a lifetime of clean air.

Want to know more about the Defender air purifier?

By Ryan Duggan