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5 Best Air Purifiers for Cigarette Smoke

Last updated September 11, 2023

Danny as been writing about air purifiers for 10+ years. He is a major fan of home technology, which makes him the perfect person to test and evaluate products for HouseFresh

We all know about the dangers that come with smoking cigarettes. Science has shown us that cigarette smoke is proven to not only damage our bodies but the bodies of those around us. Cigarette smoke contains around 250 harmful chemicals and around 69 of them are known to cause cancer, so it is widely recommended that your home environment is 100% smoke-free.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advice is to stop smoking cigarettes. Still, it’s not always easy to quit, so reducing the amount of smoke in your household is paramount. 

As a smoker, you need to keep in mind that smoking cigarettes indoors not only can lead to substantial carbon monoxide buildup but can also generate smells that will stick around for a long time as smoke filters into the fibers of your clothes, furniture and even wallpaper—it can be hard to get rid of smells. 

Hence, you want to tackle smoke before it gets absorbed into your home.

Why You Can Trust Our Recommendations

We didn’t just put this list together based on manufacturers’ figures and info in their marketing materials. Unlike most sites “reviewing” air purifiers these days, at HouseFresh, we buy every product we review with our own money so we can test them in our home lab:

STAGE 1️⃣ – We use an air quality monitor to test the unit’s air cleaning performance by tracking how long it takes to remove incense smoke pollutants inside our 705 cubic ft. home test room.

STAGE 2️⃣ – We use an electricity usage monitor to test the unit’s energy consumption when running at its lowest and highest speeds.

STAGE 3️⃣  – We use a sound level monitor to test the unit’s noise level output in decibels when running at its top and bottom speeds.

Our 3 Favorite Air Purifiers For Eliminating Cigarette Smoke

If you don’t have time to go through the full list and you want to find an air purifier that will help you remove cigarette smoke ASAP, then check out our top picks:

Alen BreatheSmart FlexLevoit Core 300Levoit EverestAir
AIR CLEANING SPEED ⚡34 minutes40 minutes13 minutes
CADR 👩‍🔬225 CFM (Smoke: 191 / Pollen: 245 / Dust: 209)145 CFM (244 m³/h)360 CFM (612 m3/h)
FILTER TECHNOLOGY 💨H13 HEPA + Activated carbon (Fresh, Odorcell and Heavy Smoke options)3-stage H13 True HEPA filtration with activated carbon3-stage H13 True HEPA filtration with activated carbon
MAX ROOM SIZE 📏Up to 350 sq. ft.
(5 ACH )
Up to 219 sq. ft. (5 ACH)Up to 558 sq. ft.
(5 ACH )
WEIGHT ⚖️15 lbs (6.8 kg)5.95 lbs (2.7 kg)20.7 lbs (9.38 kg)
OUR REVIEW 🔍Alen Flex reviewCore 300 reviewEverestAir review
PRICE 💵$259.99$149.99$499.99

Last update on 2023-09-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Now that you’ve seen our top three choices, read on to discover more about each and find out which other units made the grade. 

5 Best Air Purifiers for Smoke

We used our own data to choose the best air purifiers for cigarette smoke, focusing on units that:

Utilize True HEPA or higher grade filters such as H13 medical grade
Feature large, activated carbon filters – the more carbon, the faster it will be at removing odors and gasses
Offer a good ratio of $ to air cleaning performance (CADR)

Check out the five air purifiers we recommend to those looking to eliminate cigarette smoke indoors.

1. Best Overall: Alen BreatheSmart Flex

Most air purifiers are aimed at dust and allergies and have small levels of activated carbon, but with Alen, you can customize the flex when you buy it and choose the VOC/Smoke filter that comes with 2.3 lbs of active carbon that is perfect for adsorbing the chemicals and gasses that cigarette smoking generates.

The Flex is very similar to Alen’s most popular unit, the Alen 45i, but it doesn’t include auto-mode, ionizer or any smart features in exchange; you can buy the unit for much cheaper. I recommend going with the 12-month filter subscription, as this will enable a lifetime warranty for your air purifier. Considering that cigarette smoke will require you to keep your air purifier running constantly, a warranty for your entire life could be very useful in the future.

💡 Pro Tip: Those concerned about chemical byproducts from ionizers will be happy that the Flex has no ionizer, so all filtration is mechanical with zero byproducts.

What We Really Like:

👍 Large amount of active carbon for odor and gas and HEPA H13 for the particles
👍 Good looking device that doesn’t take up too much floor space
👍 Lifetime warranty is only available with Alen – most brands offer 12 months only
👍 High-quality build quality from a US company

What We Think Could Be Better:

👎 Higher price ratio to air cleaning power compared to brands like Levoit
👎 No smart mode or auto-mode – need to upgrade to 45i for these features


HouseFresh Rating:★★★★☆
Time to clean our test room:34 minutes
Air purifier technology:H13 HEPA with an option for activated charcoal (Fresh, Odorcell and Heavy Smoke options available)
Recommended room size:Up to 350 sq. ft (5 air changes per hour)
Clean air delivery rate (CADR):225 CFM (Smoke:  191 / Pollen: 245 / Dust: 209)
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):25H x 15W x 8.5D inches (63.5 x 38.1 x 21.59 cm)
Weight (in pounds / in kg):15 lbs (6.8 kg)
Noise level (low – high):25dB – 50dB
Filter life:Every 6 months
Warranty:Lifetime (with product registration & active filter subscription)
Estimated energy consumption:$25.23 per year (24.2 watts)

2. Best for Large Spaces: Levoit EverestAir

Everest Air is your go-to choice if you’re looking for an effective air purifier to deal with cigarette smoke in big spaces. The unit performs excellently in 600 sq. ft. rooms and can handle a 2700 sq. ft. space. With a CADR score of 370 and a large fan, the EverestAir can act quickly and efficiently to eliminate the smoke.

But the EverestAir is not just about brilliant performance. The unit’s design brings a modern and sleek twist on the brand’s usual cylindrical designs while still delivering all the power we’ve expected from Levoit. Something else worth mentioning is its smart panel, which shows air quality readings in real-time on the unit’s screen. It’s also loaded with smart features like an exceptional Auto-Mode and the practical functions of Levoit’s VeSync app.

What’s important, however, is that the Levoit EverestAir rapidly rids the air of the toxic particles from second-hand smoke while swiftly removing odors and gases thanks to its medical grade H13 HEPA filter and its thick activated carbon filter. To show you just how chunky the activated carbon filter, check out this comparison photo where you can see the EverestAir’s filter to the left against the IQAir Healthpro Plus’ filter to the right:

What We Really Like:

👍 All of Levoit’s power in an improved design
👍 State-of-the-art air quality sensor 
👍 Has adjustable vent angles, a feature unique to this model, to control the fresh air direction
👍 Impressive performance, the fastest air purifier we tested so far

What We Think Could Be Better:

👎 For a top-tier air purifier, the 2-year warranty falls a bit short
👎 Filters don’t come cheap


HouseFresh Rating:★★★★★
Time to clean our test room:13 minutes
Air purifier technology:3-Stage Filtration (Pre-filter, H13 HEPA and activated carbon)
Recommended room size:558 sq. ft.
Clean air delivery rate (CADR):360 CFM (612 m3/h)
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):18.9L x 8.5W x 23.2H inches (48L x 21.6W x 58.9H cm)
Weight (in pounds / in kg):20.7 lbs (9.38 kg)
Noise level (low – high):24 – 56dB
Filter life:12-15 months
Manufacturer’s warranty:2 years
Estimated energy consumption:$87.25 per year

3. Best Under $100: Levoit Core 300

If you can, I would suggest going with a more powerful air purifier for an issue with cigarette smoke, but if your budget can’t go beyond $100, then the Levoit Core 300 is the air purifier I recommend.

Most budget air purifiers use carbon-impregnated fabric, but the Levoit Core 300 uses activated charcoal pellets for dealing with the gasses and odors related to cigarette smoking. The Levoit Core 300 is easy to live with, but its CADR of 145 CFM means it’s only suitable for smaller rooms like bedrooms. It cleaned the air in our test room, which is fairly small in 40 minutes of all particulate pollution.

Regularly found for less than $100, the Levoit Core 300 has no smart features or auto mode like its upgraded sister model, the Core 300S. But when we are dealing with an issue like cigarette smoke, this is less of an issue and for those on a budget you want to get as much cleaning power for your $ spent.

What We Really Like:

👍 Good price-to-performance ratio – 145 CFM for under $100
👍 The Core 4300 uses mechanical filtration technology (pure HEPA + activated charcoal) without ionizer tech, meaning it doesn’t generate ozone to perform at the highest level.
👍 You can easily find many generic filter options to keep replacement costs low
👍 Fair level of noise-to-power ratio

What We Think Could Be Better:

👎 Still underpowered to remove cigarette smoke for medium to large rooms will need multiple units or bigger options.
👎 No smart mode or auto-mode


HouseFresh Rating:★★★★★
Time to clean our test room:40 Minutes
Air purifier technology:H13 (Medical) Grade HEPA and Activated Charcoal
Recommended room size:up to 219 sq. ft (5 air changes per hour)
Clean air delivery rate (CADR):145 CFM (246 m3/h)
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):8.7L x 8.7W x 14.2H inches (22L x 22W x 36H cm)
Weight (in pounds / in kg):7.5 lbs (3.4 kg)
Noise level (low – high):24dB – 50dB
Filter life:6 – 8 months
Manufacturer’s warranty2 years
Estimated energy consumption:$47.30

4. Best Budget Option for Large Spaces: Levoit Core 600S

If you have been reading HouseFresh for a while, you will know by now that the Core 600S is the top-performing air purifier we have tested. We felt the need to run our air cleaning performance test twice to ensure we hadn’t made a mistake: it took the Core 600S only 15 minutes to clean the air in our test room – 44 minutes faster than the average (59 minutes).

The 600S is an excellent option to tackle cigarette smoke (and the accompanying odors) thanks to its H13 True HEPA filter and high-efficiency Activated Carbon filter with ARC Formula™.

And it will do all this for a fraction of the price you’ll pay for air purifiers performing at top levels: the Core 600S retails at $299, which is incredibly good considering that other units with similar cleaning performances are all above the $500 mark.

What We Really Like:

👍 The Core 600S comes with smart functions, so you can control the air purifier through the Levoit app remotely
👍 The CADR 410 CFM (697 m³/h) is high for an air purifier at this price point. Super impressive!
👍 The Core 600S is a quiet air purifier, which is surprising considering how powerful a machine it is
👍 Unofficial generic replacement filters are easy to find on Amazon

What We Think Could Be Better:

👎 It might be overkill for those with small rooms as it is pretty big
👎 They placed the air quality sensor at the back of the unit, so you need to make sure not to place your Core 600S too close to the wall or the sensor will struggle


HouseFresh Rating:★★★★★
Time to clean our test room:15 minutes
Air purifier technology:H13 True HEPA filter with Activated Carbon
Recommended room size:up to 635 sq. ft. (5 air changes per hour)
Clean air delivery rate (CADR):410 CFM (697 m³/h)
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):12.3 x 12.3 x 23.6 inches (31.3 x 31.3 x 60 cm)
Weight (in pounds / in kg):13.7 lbs (6.2 kg)
Noise level (low – high):26 – 55 dB
Filter life:6 months
Warranty:2 years
Estimated energy consumption:$51.51 per year

5. Best Option for Smart Features: Mila Air Purifier

When buying your Mila, you can choose from seven pre-configured filters, but you must choose wisely. To ensure the Mila will help with both the smoke particles AND the smell, you need to buy one of the filters with activated carbon.

When asked about the best filter for cigarette smoke on their Kickstarter campaign page, a representative from Mila specified that The Critter Cuddler and the Rookie Parent (yes, these are real names) were both good options as they contain both HEPA and heavy-duty carbon filters.

Now, if you are a heavy smoker, you might want to try The Home Wrecker instead, as it comes with a dual-layer carbon filter (with 1.96 lbs of modified granular carbon) and will be able to deal with the odors even if you smoke heavily indoors. That said, ensure ventilation and fresh air by opening windows and doors.

What We Really Like:

👍 The smart home features make it easier to keep your home free of pollutants — with auto mode as a default
👍 Mila’s on-board sensor is continuously working, monitoring pollution levels (PM1, PM2.5, PM10, VOCs, CO2, CO1) and temperature
👍 The unit itself looks great, and it can be moved easily from room to room as it doesn’t take up too much space

What We Think Could Be Better:

👎 You pay extra to get a smart unit, but you will get better air cleaning performance from other cheaper air purifiers that don’t have smart sensors in-built
👎 The filters are pretty expensive, so you will need to drop around $150 every six months to keep the Mila performing at its top level


HouseFresh Rating:★★★★☆
Time to clean our test room:35 minutes
Air purifier technology:HEPA (ranges from H12-H14) + Activated charcoal (granular carbon)
Recommended room size:up to 450 sq. ft. (5 air changes per hour)
Clean air delivery rate (CADR):263 CFM (447 m³/hr)
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):12L x 12W x 15H inches (30.48L x 30.48W x 38.1H cm)
Weight (in pounds / in kg):18 lbs (8 kg)
Noise level (low – high):24dB – 74dB
Filter life:6 months
Warranty:1 year
Estimated energy consumption:$52.56 per year

6. Alen BreatheSmart 75i

Like the Alen Flex, the Alen 75i comes with more activated carbon than you normally find, which is perfect for cigarette smoke.

Be sure to choose the Fresh filter with 3.6 lbs of active carbon and an H13 filter, as they offer only a HEPA filter.

The Alen BreatheSmart 75i is a big device but can work in spaces up 1,300 sq. ft as it has a CADR rating of 347 CFM and it removed all the particles bigger than 1 micron in 24 minutes in our home lab test.

You can buy different filters for the Alen BreatheSmart 75i, but not all are suitable for tackling cigarette smoke. Choose Alen’s B7-Fresh filter, which includes medical-grade H13 HEPA technology AND activated carbon. This specific filter will tackle pollution from cigarette smoke while adsorbing odors and gasses.

With five fan speeds, the Alen BreatheSmart 75i will automatically adjust to whichever speed is required when placed in auto mode. You can easily connect to their app, which can also be used for multiple devices across your home.

What We Really Like:

👍 Available in a wide variety of attractive designs
👍 Several different filter types are available to upgrade the unit
👍 Energy Star certified
👍 Lifetime warranty helps to provide extra peace of mind – you do need to get the subscription when you buy the device

What We Think Could Be Better:

👎 Not so easy to move around 
👎 We wish there was a power indicator light to show when the machine is operating


HouseFresh Rating:★★★★☆
Time to clean our test room:24 minutes
Air purifier technology:True HEPA H13 filters with activated carbon pellets
Recommended room size:up to 600 sq. ft (5 air changes per hour)
Clean air delivery rate (CADR):347 CFM (589 m³/h)
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):27H x 18.5W x 11.5D inches (68.58H x 46.99W x 29.21D cm)
Weight (in pounds / in kg):12.2 kg (27 lbs)
Noise level (low – high):24dB – 49dB
Filter life:12 – 15 months
Warranty:Lifetime (with product registration & active filter subscription)
Estimated energy consumption:$47.30 per year

What to Look for When Buying an Air Purifier for Cigarette Smoke

“Although chronic exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) (i.e., secondhand smoking) is considered one of the major human health hazards, it is a preventable one. Adopting smoke-free environments is an effective strategy to prevent the negative effects of ETS and facilitate smoking cessation.”

Madonna A. Fekry, MPH
Epidemiologist and Public Health Specialist

1. Medical-grade or True HEPA filter

A filter must be certified and tested to remove 99.97% of particles bigger than 0.3 microns to be labeled as True HEPA or remove 99.95% of particles bigger than 0.1 microns to be considered medical-grade. True HEPA and medical-grade HEPA filters provide great particulate removal without restricting airflow. Due to the principle of Brownian motion, smaller particles than 0.3 microns also get stuck to the HEPA fibers, so a True HEPA grade filter can keep the air in a room completely free of particulate pollutants.

🤓 Read more about the different types of HEPA filters in our guide to medical-grade HEPA versus True HEPA versus HEPA.

2. Activated carbon filter

90% of cigarette smoke is a gas or vapor not removed by HEPA.

Only air purifiers that contain an activated carbon filter which will remove odors and gasses by adsorbing harmful molecules and trapping them on their surface.

🤓 Wondering how this works? Learn about how activated carbon filters work.

3. High CADR rating and air cleaning performance

Cigarette smoke is thick and can travel easily between rooms. To combat this, we ensured all the recommended units had high Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) ratings and gave size recommendations for 5 air changes.

🤓 Not sure what this means? Check out our guide on CADR rating.

4. Your budget

No one wants to spend more than they can afford, but we suggest that you look at a bigger air purifier than we normally would recommend for those with issues with cigarette smoke. A higher CADR means the air purifier can clean air quicker, and a low CADR will mean that it might be unable to keep a large completely free of particulate and gas pollutants from smoking cigarettes.

5. The size of your room

In the air purifier world, size matters. Pay attention to the ‘recommended room size’ row in the specs tables of the air purifiers we have shortlisted above and find the one that suits your room better.

🤓 Do you smoke around the house? Then you need to read our guide on whether you should get an air purifier in every room.

Common Questions About Cigarette Smoke

🤔 How harmful is cigarette smoke?

If you are going to smoke indoors, then air circulation is key. You can eliminate some pollution caused by cigarette smoke by opening windows and doors or turning on extraction fans. But you should combine this with a high-performing air purifier that uses activated carbon and as much carbon as you can afford.

Each time you light a cigarette indoors, you will see how smoke spreads throughout the room. Cigarette smoke is super pervasive, and it latches onto your skin, clothes, and furnishings, leaving a lingering smell and covering everything with carcinogenic particles. 

While smoking may be banned all across the US in indoor public spaces, our freedom to smoke in our homes remains.

🤔 What is inside cigarette smoke?

Cigarette smoke is a complex mixture of chemical compounds bound to aerosol particles and can be free in gaseous form. Researchers have found that cigarette smoke contains 7,357 chemicals from many different classes. 

Many of these toxic compounds can damage our cells, and some are carcinogenic. This guide is an eye-opener if you’ve ever wondered what you inhale when smoking a cigarette. 

Aside from nicotine and tar (the most common ones), cigarette smoke contains many other harmful compounds in different forms. 

Some smoke components, such as carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxide, and hydrogen cyanide (HCN), exist in gaseous form. Others, such as benzene, acrolein, and formaldehyde, are volatile chemicals in the smoke aerosol’s liquid-vapor portion. A few, such as nicotine, phenol, and polyaromatic hydrocarbons, exist in the solid particles suspended in the smoke.

Given this diverse combination of harmful compounds in cigarettes, smoking can adversely affect smokers. Exposure to this secondhand smoke can also harm non-smokers, especially if the smoke is not dispelled from the house, so buying an air purifier for cigarette smoke is recommended.

🤔 Can an air purifier make smoking safe?

In short, no.

Air purifiers can reduce indoor air pollution by removing smoke, dust, dander, pollen, and other particles from the air. However, if you smoke in the same room, you will continuously create new pollutants and gases that will go into your body and affect the lives of those around you. 

That being said, using an air purifier with HEPA and activated charcoal filters can help remove pollutants and odors from the air, reducing the risks associated with secondhand smoke.

🤔 What gets rid of the smell of cigarette smoke?

In addition to using a purifier, you can do a few things to help eliminate cigarette smoke in your home or office. First, keep windows and doors shut when smoking outside and clean your home regularly. You can also leave open containers of charcoal in each room. This works in the same way as a carbon filter but is less intense. We wrote an entire guide on this issue, so you should read it to learn more.

🤔 What are the consequences of second and third-hand smoke?

We need to consider not only the smoker’s health; it’s the health of everyone who might come into contact with cigarette smoke second and third hand.

The main issues caused by second and third-hand smoke are: 

1. Increased risk of bronchitis in children and infants
2. Coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath
3. Higher risk of lung infections
4. A lingering odor


The best way to remove cigarette smell and smoke from your home is to stop smoking. Still, if that is not an option, you should choose an air purifier with a medical-grade HEPA filter and a heavy amount of activated carbon. These filters can capture the toxic gases and particles from cigarette smoke, making the air in your home feel fresher and healthier.

Last update on 2023-09-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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