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8 Best Kitchen Air Purifiers for Cooking Odors

Last updated July 3, 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

The last thing you want to do is go to work smelling like the fantastic meal you cooked the night before. Opening a window will not always work when managing harsh odors and fumes. This is especially true when you cook strong-smelling foods like fish, onions, or smoked meats in a small space, such as a compact apartment

The main thing to remember when looking for an air purifier for the kitchen and with odors, in particular, is that HEPA filters are not enough on their own. You need to invest in a unit that uses adsorption technology which, in simple terms, is activated charcoal, as this has been proven to deal effectively with the gases and odors generated from cooking.

Why You Can Trust Our Recommendations

We have actually tested every single unit on this list after we bought them with our own money. You can trust that our review won’t be biased or shallow.

Here is the process we followed to test the real-life performance of each air purifier on this list: 

STEP 1️⃣ – With the help of an air quality monitor, we tested each unit’s air cleaning performance by tracking how long it takes to remove incense smoke from our test room (705 cubic ft).

STEP 2️⃣ – An electricity usage monitor allowed us to determine each unit’s energy consumption at its lowest and highest speeds.

STEP 3️⃣ – Lastly, we used our sound level monitor to test each unit’s noise output when running at its top and bottom fan speeds.

With all this data in hand, we have analyzed all the air purifiers we have tested looking for the most important features required from an air purifier to tackle cooking smells successfully:  

✅ Odor-busting activated carbon filters – An air purifier with plenty of activated carbon will get rid of odors through a process known as adsorption. 

✅ Fast air cleaning performance – The longer smoke is in the atmosphere, the more it will stick to your clothes while you’re cooking and to any soft furnishings in the kitchen. 

✅ Smart functions – If you’re cooking, you are unlikely to be able to move away from the stove to turn on your air purifier or change the fan settings. That is why we looked to include units with smart functions (such as auto mode), mobile apps or a remote control.

✅ Good CADR for the price – Pollutants like kitchen smoke resulting from frying or roasting meals can be difficult to clean, so we looked for powerful air purifiers with a high clean air delivery rate.

No time to read the full list? Below you’ll find our top three choices.

The 3 Best Air Purifiers for Cooking Odors

These are the best air purifiers for the kitchen and cooking odors, based on our own experience:

IQAir HealthPro PlusLevoit Core 300SLevoit Core 400S
AIR CLEANING SPEED ⚡33 minutes40 minutes24 minutes
CADR 👩‍🔬330 CFM (560 m³/hr)141 CFM(240 m³/h)260 CFM / 442 m³/h
FILTER TECHNOLOGY 💨V5-Cell Filter, HyperHEPA filterH13 HEPA and Activated Carbon PelletsH13 True HEPA Activated Carbon Pellets
MAX ROOM SIZE 📏450 ft² to 1125 ft²up to 219 ft²up to 403 ft²
WEIGHT ⚖️16 kg / 35 lbs2.7 kg / 5.95 lbs6.4 kg / 14.12 lbs
CARBON ⛏️5 lbsIntegrated Carbon PelletsIntegrated Carbon Pellets
OUR REVIEW 🔍IQAir HealthPro Plus reviewLevoit Core 300S reviewLevoit Core 400S review
PRICE 💵$899.00$149.99$219.99

Last update on 2023-09-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Couldn’t find what you were looking for? Or want to read more about one of the top three air purifiers? Read on for the complete list of air purifiers we recommend for kitchens.

1. Best for Commercial Kitchens: IQAir HealthPro Plus

This is our top option for those with large kitchens as it has over 5 lbs of activated charcoal and KMn05 alumina, it will make short work of the smoke, odors, and pollutants generated in the kitchen.

Unlike other air purifiers, the IQAir HealthPro Plus Home HEPA Air Purifier uses a HyperHEPA filter designed to pick up particles even smaller than those that regular HEPA filters can trap, helping capture ultrafine particles that can be harmful. This model uses triple-seal technology that helps to perfectly seal the filter frame to the housing, ensuring that nothing is released from the filter. Other parts of the purifier have individual seals to ensure that all system parts are airtight.

This model uses a new edition fan that uses 27 and 215 watts, depending on the speed, and is classified as a maintenance-free motor which will contribute to the durability of the air purifier. Due to IQAir’s patented EvenFlow diffuser, this air purifier is capable of 320-degree air delivery. It is designed to provide little to no noise and no form of draft generation. This air purifier has a sophisticated control system that allows you to program different operating levels, color-coded lights to indicate when filters need to be replaced, and a filter-life monitoring system to ensure that it always has a functional filter for optimal performance.

What We Really Like:

👍 It helps to remove strong odors like chemicals and smells from the air
👍 It has casters to make it easier to move
👍 Depending on use, the filters can last up to a year or longer
👍 It is easy to set up

What We Think Could Be Better:

👎 It is a large unit – it can be difficult to find the best spot for it so it is not in the way
👎 The replacement filters are on the expensive side – up to $250 per year on full power usage
👎 It is likely to be overkill for residential kitchens


HouseFresh Rating:★★★★☆
Time to clean our test room:25 minutes
Air purifier technology:HyperHEPA and V50-CELL gas and odor filter
Recommended room size:450 to 1125 sq. ft. 
Clean air delivery rate (CADR):300 CFM (510 m³/h)
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):28H x 18W x 16D inches (71H x 38W x 41D cm)
Weight (in pounds / in kg):35 lbs (16 kg)
Noise level (low – high):25dB – 69dB
Filter life:4 years
Manufacturer warranty:10 years
Estimated energy consumption:$165.04 per year

2. Best for Small Kitchens: Levoit Core 300S

The Levoit Core 300S is the smart upgrade to the well-reviewed Levoit Core 300. It builds upon the Core 300’s use of H13 HEPA with activated charcoal, perfect for the odors and pollutants generated by cooking in the kitchen.

This unit was able to clean our test room in under 49 minutes of all pollutants bigger than 1ug/m3 and so is our recommended choice for those with small to medium-sized kitchens.

The Core 300S can usually be found for under $130. This air purifier can work for those concerned about kitchen and cooking odors, but on the tighter side of the budget.

The Levoit Core 300S was my favorite air purifier we tested in 2021. I expect it will become one of the most popular units this year for small spaces, and is a great option for the kitchen as it can easily fit on countertops.

What We Really Like:

👍 It has a low energy consumption of 14.8 watts, so the Core 300 comes with low running costs
👍 Performance to $$ is one of the best in the market
👍 Decent amount of activated charcoal for dealing with odors/gasses generated by cooking
👍 It provides 360 degrees of airflow via its circular design

What We Think Could Be Better:

👎 Genuine filters are not cheap at $50, but generic versions are available for less than $30
👎 App design could be better – we want to see Dyson link quality apps in the future for Levoit
👎 You might want to look at the other Levoit air purifiers on the market if the Levoit Core 300S looks interesting.


HouseFresh Rating:★★★★★
Time to clean our test room:39 Minutes
Air purifier technology:3-Stage H13 True HEPA Filtration with Activated Carbon
Recommended room size:Up to 219 sq. ft.
Clean air delivery rate (CADR):141 CFM (240 m³)
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):5.95 lbs (2.7 kg)
Noise level (low – high):24dB – 48dB
Filter life:6 – 8 months
Manufacturer’s warranty2 years
Estimated energy consumption:$52.56

3. Best Budget Option for Large Kitchens: Levoit Core 400S

The Levoit Core 400S is a great option for dealing with the cooking odors generated by a large kitchen.

In our in-house performance test, the Levoit Core 400S managed to eradicate all pollutants in 33 minutes which is on par with our top choice, the IQAir, which costs nearly $1000.

Unlike the IQAir unit, the Core 400S comes with various smart options, such as auto mode. It is perfect for a kitchen air purifier as it will only come on when it detects burnt toast or any other pollutants generated by cooking. This means you will have to pay less for electricity as you won’t need the air purifier running continuously.

Another feature that stands out for this unit is efficiency, as it can clean rooms quickly but without the massive amounts of electricity required from other units we tested.

It’s a large unit, but it can clean rooms quicker than smaller units like the Core 300 series in exchange for this bigger footprint.

What We Really Like:

👍 Smart modes that are usually only found on far more expensive units
👍 Energy efficient
👍 Generic filters are readily available for less money (around $20-$30)
👍 Auto mode is excellent for use in a kitchen

What We Think Could Be Better:

👎 It’s pretty large so it might be overkill for small kitchens
👎 The app could have better UX


HouseFresh Rating:★★★★☆
Time to clean our test room:33 minutes
Air purifier technology:H13 True HEPA filter
Recommended room size:403 sq. ft.
Clean air delivery rate (CADR):260 CFM (442 m³/h)
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):10.8L x 10.8W x 20.5H inches (27.4L x 27.4W x 52H cm)
Weight (in pounds / in kg):14.1 lbs (6.4 kg)
Noise level (low – high):24dB – 52dB
Filter life:6 months
Manufacturer’s warranty:2 years
Estimated energy consumption:$39.95 per year

4. Smart Air S

This new unit from Smart Air S blew us away in our in-house performance testing. It could clean our test room of pollutants in less than 29 minutes! The fact that these units are available for less than $200 is what we didn’t expect.

It was able to perform so well due to the engineers at Smart Air keeping things simple with a powerful, efficient fan combined with a lower grade HEPA than competitors, allowing it to clean air quicker for less electricity.

The reason that this air purifier is not higher up on our list for those looking for an air purifier for their kitchen is that it lacks many intelligent features as it has only a straightforward 3-speed mode with no timer options or any of the other bells and whistles that you see with the other units on this list.

Another big win for this unit is that it looks terrific compared to the most generic designs you see in the world of air purifiers.

💡 Pro Tip: Make sure to buy the activated carbon filter to clean the air from pollutants AND remove smells.

What We Really Like:

👍 Amazing design that actually looks good in the home
👍 A CADR of 185 CFM, which is very good for this price range
👍 Real-world performance-matched units are far higher in cost
👍 Nice to have an option for charcoal or not

What We Think Could Be Better:

👎 Lacks any smart features like timers or auto mode
👎 No App, all adjustments have to be made on the air purifier


HouseFresh Rating:★★★★☆
Time to clean our test room:29 minutes
Air purifier technology:H11 HEPA and optional activated charcoal filter
Recommended room size:430 sq. ft. 
Clean air delivery rate (CADR):185 CFM (315 m³/h)
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):13H x 13W x 14.3D inches (33.02H x 33.02W x 36.32D cm)
Weight (in pounds / in kg):10.1 lbs (4.58 kg)
Noise level (low – high):23dB – 52dB
Filter life:6 months
Manufacturer’s warranty1 year
Estimated energy consumption:$45.20 per year

5. Best Wall-Mounted Option: Rabbit Air MinusA2 SPA-780N

The Rabbit Air MinusA2 SPA-780N was designed to be easy to use, with 6 different operational levels ranging from pre-filters that get rid of large allergens to charcoal-based activated carbon filters that filter out smaller particles and gasses.

Unlike other air purifiers that only work to reduce allergens or odors, you can purchase different types of filters that target what you want to use them for. For instance, filters that are designed explicitly as odor removers for kitchens.

This purifier also comes with a negative ion generator designed to help produce beneficial negative ions that are used to improve HEPA efficiency. It can connect to most Apple and Google smart devices, where you can access a customized panel that will allow you to pick and choose between different features to amplify and ensure it is working towards your air goals. Lastly, in the provided app, you can even schedule the purifier to run on a specific schedule so it will turn on and off when you need it.

What We Really Like:

👍 It has a thin and sleek design that makes it easy to move around
👍 It can stand up on its own or be mounted to a wall
👍 It can connect to a WiFi network
👍 The filters are in an accessible place for quick and easy replacement

What We Think Could Be Better:
👎 The settings get reset when there is a power outage
👎 It can be difficult to set up the purifier’s schedule


HouseFresh Rating:★★★☆☆
Air purifier technology:BioGS HEPA filter with an activated carbon filter
Recommended room size:815 sq. ft.
Clean air delivery rate (CADR):Pollen 200 CFM / Dust 193 CFM / Smoke 180 CFM
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):20H x 21.4W x 7D inches (50.8Hx 54.4W x 17.8D cm)
Weight (in pounds / in kg):19.4 lbs (8.8 kg)
Filter life:12 months
Noise level (low – high):25dB – 51dB
Estimated energy consumption:$64.12 per year
Warranty5 years

6. Alen BreatheSmart 75i

Consumer Reports loved this unit so much that it was their number one recommended air purifier, and it’s hard to disagree based on our experience. This large unit was able to remove all the pollutants in our test environment in less than 24 minutes which is the fifth-best result we have ever seen.

The 75i is the flagship model for Austin-based Alen and comes with a fairly hefty price tag and isn’t a unit that fits into any space as it has a fairly large footprint.

The Alen 75i is an air purifier that uses ionizer technology, HEPA, and activated charcoal to achieve better performance than a pure HEPA/activated charcoal-based system.

What We Really Like:

👍 This can deal with really large rooms up to 1300sq. ft.
👍 Ionizer allows for better performance as they work in combination
👍 Smart modes include an LED that changes color depending on current air quality
👍 It uses an Odorcell filter that is designed for picking up odors like those generated in a kitchen

What We Think Could Be Better:

👎 It is large so not right for smaller kitchens
👎 It’s a big investment at just under $800 and the replacement filters don’t come cheap.


HouseFresh Rating:★★★★☆
Time to clean our test room:24 minutes
Air purifier technology:True HEPA H13 filters with activated carbon pellets + Ionizer technology
Recommended room size:Up to 1,300 sq. ft. 
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

7. Winix 5300-2

The Winix 5300-2 is a favorite of both Consumer Reports and Wirecutter and is a great example of a combination unit that uses ionizer technology to get more performance from its HEPA and Activated Charcoal filters.

In our performance tests, the Winix 5300-2 removed all the pollutants in 27 minutes, which is a great time considering this unit is often available for less than $150.

Another plus of the Winix is that it looks great in a dark color not normally seen with air purifiers. It has 2 chunky filters – HEPA and activated charcoal.

Their ionizer technology is called “Plasmawave,” which allows the unit to break down odors and chemical vapors before they get picked up by the primary HEPA and activated charcoal filters.

What We Really Like:

👍 Design is better than other units at this budget
👍 The smart mode automatically switches the unit on to remove pollutants
👍 Decently priced replacement filters
👍 Near silent operation at the lowest speed

What We Think Could Be Better:

👎 Long-term electricity costs are higher than other units at the same performance
👎 Does get loud at the highest speed


HouseFresh Rating:★★★★☆
Time to clean our test room:27 minutes
Air purifier technology:Washable Fine Mesh Pre-filter, Activated Carbon Filter, True HEPA Filter, Plasmawave Air Cleaning Technology
Recommended room size:435 sq. ft.
Clean air delivery rate (CADR):246 CFM
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):15W x 8.2D x 23.6H inches (38.1W x 20.8D x 59.9H cm)
Weight (in pounds / in kg):14.8 lbs (6.7 kg)
Noise level (low – high):27 dB – 60 dB
Filter life:HEPA filter: every 6 months // Carbon filter: every 3 months
Warranty2 years
Estimated energy consumption:$66.23 per year

8. GermGuardian AC4825

The GermGuardian AC4825 was created by Guardian Technologies which has made it their mission to create a better home environment for anyone using their products. This air purifier is designed to help purify the air in your kitchen to help reduce many airborne germs that can be produced when cooking.

Unlike most other air purifiers, this one is designed to remove up to 99.97% of different types of particles and allergens that are as small as 0.3 microns, which is perfect for eliminating odor-causing cooking particles.

One thing about this purifier that should be noted is that it does not use washable filters, which means that you will have to keep an eye on the filter from time to time and make sure that you have extras to replace it when required. The fans are designed to be quiet, while the overall design of the appliance is compact, making it easier to move around in the kitchen where it is most needed to help eliminate unwanted cooking odors.

💡 Pro Tip: If you are looking for cheaper units like the GermGuardian AC4825, then be sure to also check out our list of the best air purifiers for smoke under $100.

What We Really Like:

👍 A super cheap initial investment
👍 Slim size means it has a low floor footprint
👍 Easily available generic filter

What We Think Could Be Better:

👎 Based on our own testing, I question the effectiveness of the UV-C filter
👎 Long-term build quality is not as good as other units we have tested


HouseFresh Rating:★★☆☆☆
Time to clean our test room:1 hour and 44 minutes
Air purifier technology:True HEPA with UV-C
Recommended room size:167 sq. ft.
Clean air delivery rate (CADR):125 CFM (212m³/h)
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):21.5H x 6.75W x 10.25D inches (54.61H x 17.14W x 26.03D cm)
Weight (in pounds / in kg):8.6 lbs (3.9 kg)
Noise level (low – high):40dB – 55dB
Filter life:6 – 8 months
Warranty3 years
Estimated energy consumption:$52.56

Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best Kitchen Air Purifier

To find the right air purifier for your kitchen, you need to consider the size of your kitchen, the number of pollutants, and any features you can’t live without.

Many studies show that kitchens are a significant source of indoor pollution, so it’s worth taking the time to make sure that the air purifier you choose will do an excellent job of keeping your air clean whenever you are cooking.

In simple terms, an air purifier is just a fan combined with a filter.

When you are cooking in your kitchen, you will generate a lot of odors which are chemicals that are not caught by standard HEPA filters, so when looking for an air purifier for a kitchen, you want to make sure that it has a carbon filter.

Many modern air purifiers have intelligent features like timers and auto-mode that allow you to manage when your air purifier runs. In the case of auto-mode, the unit can come on automatically when it senses pollutants such as burnt toast which helps to reduce running costs.

“No matter the time of the year, keeping the air circulating in your kitchen free from pollutants is paramount. Unfortunately, many factors can cause poor quality air in the kitchen, including burned food, accidental fires, and pollutants from food waste and self-cleaning ovens.”
— Danny Ashton, Founder & Senior Writer

Health experts warn that long-term exposure to poor-quality air can negatively impact your health, so you must prioritize air purification.

A practical solution is to invest in an indoor air purifier. Air purifiers capture pollutants, such as dust, smoke, and allergens, before cleaning and recirculating air in the room. This article shares tips on buying the right air purifier for your kitchen.

1. Look for high quality HEPA and activated carbon filters

First, you must choose an air purifier fitted with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) air filters and activated carbon.

HEPA filters have been shown to remove 99.97% of air particles within a given area, while activated carbon helps clean up the tough gas molecules left behind. As such, going for a device that has both filters installed will guarantee maximum efficiency. 

2. Consider the size of your kitchen

One of the most overlooked factors when buying an air purifier is the size of the room where the device will be used. You want to invest in a product that will operate at optimum efficiency, notwithstanding how much energy the device will consume.

⚠️ The big mistake that many consumers make with an air purifier is using a unit that is too small for their space. That means they will end up using up filters quicker and may have a situation where the room is so large that it never gets cleaned thoroughly.

In most cases, air purifiers for larger spaces have a larger footprint than those designed for small rooms, as there is a direct relationship between the size of the filter and how much air can be cleaned.

You should consider the air purifier’s Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) rating. The CADR rating measures how much clean air the unit can produce within a given time. It’s worth mentioning that CADR is an industry measurement but some manufacturers don’t share this data, so it’s worth looking at independent tests like those we do here at HouseFresh.

The standard practice is an air purifier with a CADR rating that matches at least two-thirds of the kitchen space. So, for example, if your kitchen has an area of 240 square feet, you can go for a device with a CADR rating of at least 160.

Alternatively, every big brand in the air purifier space will give you a suggested room size for every unit based on 2 air changes per hour, so ensure it matches your specific needs.

3. Think about smart features

Smart devices are taking the world by storm and have made their way into the kitchen. 

You can save money by going for non-smart air purifiers. Still, we would recommend a unit with smart features for use in the kitchen as most people use their kitchen for occasionally cooking versus an issue with outdoor pollution that would require 24/7 usage.

For example, with a smart air purifier, you can leverage the power of the Internet of Things (IoT) by connecting the device to your smartphone through your Wi-Fi network.

The chief advantage here is that you can control the air purifier from a mobile app, which offers much-needed convenience. In addition, you can perform functions such as turning the device on and off and monitoring your AQI (Air Quality Index). Smart air purifiers allow you better to understand your kitchen’s air quality at any time. 

Many people forget that air purifiers have ongoing costs, from filter replacement and energy costs, so consider the potential long-term costs for any air purifier you choose.

FAQs About Air Purifiers for Kitchens and Cooking Odors

🤔 Where should I put my air purifier in my kitchen?

There isn’t a requirement to put your air purifier in a specific location in your kitchen, but be aware that the vents are not blocked, so keep it at least 2 inches from the nearest wall.

💡 Pro Tip: We recommend having smaller units on a countertop, but large units must sit on the floor.

🤔 What health issues can occur from kitchen air pollutants?

Undesirable, stubborn smells are only half of the problem. Using an air purifier is a great way to eradicate odors from the air and control the amount of smoke and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that linger in your home. They also do an excellent job of eliminating them and purifying the air you breathe. It’s also not the only way; the California Air Resource Board recommends opening doors and windows and using any fan to increase airflow and if possible, using a range hood or extractor fan when cooking.

Being exposed to and consistently inhaling Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) cooking emissions can result in unwanted side effects, such as:

  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of coordination
  • Chest tightness
  • Rashes
  • Shortness of breath

Numerous academic studies have shown that chemicals from smoke and chemicals from cooking on gas can cause significant health issues, especially for those using gas stoves.

Odors and VOCs are best dealt with using adsorbent media filters, according to an academic review of literature from 2011, so we kept this in mind when deciding on these final recommended units.

In consumer terms, this means activated charcoal and lots for large spaces. Although HEPA is still the primary way, you should clean the air in your home for all tiny particles like PM10 and PM2.5 and bacteria and pollen. Odors will be ineffective with a HEPA-only system so we want to choose a hybrid system that uses a good amount of activated charcoal and a high-quality HEPA filter.

Final Thoughts

Whichever unit you decide to go for, make sure that you are choosing an air purifier that is big enough for your kitchen. But be wary of not picking a unit that is too big unless you really need it (such as the IQAir HealthPro Plus) as you are likely to end up paying more in both initial investment and running costs.

Last update on 2023-09-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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