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3 Best Air Purifiers For Smoke Under $100

Last updated May 26, 2022

This post may contain affiliate links.

Author
Author avatar Danny Ashton

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

Getting a decent air purifier for cheap is always tricky and let’s be honest, less than $100 is super cheap in the world of air purifiers where one can be expected to spend up to $1000 for medical units.

One of the most challenging smells (and a big issue for any air purifier system) is smoke. This could be cigarette smoke, cigars, or second-hand smoke from neighbors. 

If you are interested in non-smoke-causing devices like vaping, then be sure to check out our recently updated guide as the advice is very different.

When searching for air purifiers that will help clean cigarette smoke, we’re actually looking for a large charcoal filter, which can be expensive. That’s because carbon filters can capture tobacco smoke and work best when they have a large surface area – but the more carbon the more $$.

Odor-causing particles are really tiny and studies have even shown that the smallest particles have the strongest smell. That means that we can’t rely on technology like True HEPA because odor-causing particles will float right through them, even though this technology is amazing for larger particles like pet dander and pollen. Sadly the reality is that most “cheap air purifiers” – and specifically those for less than $100 – just don’t contain enough carbon to do a decent job of removing cigarette smoke from the home of a regular smoker of tobacco.

That’s why I would most people spend a little more budget and go for something like the Levoit Core 400S for double the money.

But I understand that $100 might be the most you can spend right now, so I have done my research to identify the best air purifiers for less than $100 that are available to buy in 2022. Just be aware that the odor-reducing effects will only really work in a very small room and not for very heavy smokers – you have been warned!

Top 3 Air Purifiers Under $100 [Review]

LEVOIT Air Purifier for Home Allergies Pets Hair in Bedroom, H13 True HEPA Filter, 24db Filtration System Cleaner Odor Eliminators, Ozone Free, Remove 99.97% Dust Smoke Mold Pollen, Core 300, Black
BLUEAIR Bedroom Air Purifier, Small Room Air Cleaner Dust Pet Dander Smoke Mold Pollen Allergen, Odor Removal, for Home Office Nursery, 2 Washable Pre Filters, HEPASilent, Blue 411 (Non-Auto)
LEVOIT Air Purifiers for Home Large Room, Smart WiFi Alexa Control, H13 True HEPA Filter for Allergies, Pets, Smoke, Dust, Pollen, Ozone Free, 24dB Quiet Cleaner for Bedroom, Core 200S, White
Pros
Great value unit that can deal with both smells and odors created by smoking
Swedish design that does a great job for it's small size
Smart features for less than $100
Cons
It won't be able to work in very large rooms
Paying closer to $100 you can get better performance
Less powerful than 300 but close to the same price
CADR
229m³/h 135 CFM
200m³/h 118 CFM
185 m3/h 109 CFM
Technology
H13 HEPA
HEPA and carbon
H13 HEPA and activated charcoal
Features
3 modes and sleep mode
easily washable pre-filter
Auto mode with schedule and control via App
Weight
8.83 lbs
3.3 lbs / 1.5kg
6.6 lb / 3 kg
Price
$104.99
$173.99
$89.99
Air Purifier
LEVOIT Air Purifier for Home Allergies Pets Hair in Bedroom, H13 True HEPA Filter, 24db Filtration System Cleaner Odor Eliminators, Ozone Free, Remove 99.97% Dust Smoke Mold Pollen, Core 300, Black
Pros
Great value unit that can deal with both smells and odors created by smoking
Cons
It won't be able to work in very large rooms
CADR
229m³/h 135 CFM
Technology
H13 HEPA
Features
3 modes and sleep mode
Weight
8.83 lbs
Price
$104.99
More information
Air Purifier
BLUEAIR Bedroom Air Purifier, Small Room Air Cleaner Dust Pet Dander Smoke Mold Pollen Allergen, Odor Removal, for Home Office Nursery, 2 Washable Pre Filters, HEPASilent, Blue 411 (Non-Auto)
Pros
Swedish design that does a great job for it's small size
Cons
Paying closer to $100 you can get better performance
CADR
200m³/h 118 CFM
Technology
HEPA and carbon
Features
easily washable pre-filter
Weight
3.3 lbs / 1.5kg
Price
$173.99
More information
Air Purifier
LEVOIT Air Purifiers for Home Large Room, Smart WiFi Alexa Control, H13 True HEPA Filter for Allergies, Pets, Smoke, Dust, Pollen, Ozone Free, 24dB Quiet Cleaner for Bedroom, Core 200S, White
Pros
Smart features for less than $100
Cons
Less powerful than 300 but close to the same price
CADR
185 m3/h 109 CFM
Technology
H13 HEPA and activated charcoal
Features
Auto mode with schedule and control via App
Weight
6.6 lb / 3 kg
Price
$89.99
More information

We have used our in-house performance data and analysis to show you what are the 8 best air purifiers for the kitchen and cooking odors in 2022. Read on for the full list of units we’ve tested.

1. LEVOIT Core 300

Long-term readers of HouseFresh will think I have a love affair with this air purifier but the reality is that when this model was released it was a major jump forward for the category as a whole.

Before the LEVOIT H13 entered the market, most decent cheap air purifiers were just ionizers that had to be regularly cleaned, and some people even had issues with the small amounts of ozone created.

Somehow the team at LEVOIT has managed to stuff a true HEPA filter in with a decent-sized activated carbon filter. The activated carbon is what will be used to remove cigarette smoke and whilst it’s not the largest size, the fact you can get these air purifiers regularly for less than $100 is amazing.

As this is still a fairly small purifier, it would be best suited for dealing with second-hand smoke rather than in a room with someone who smokes daily.

Filters can be found for less than $25 for one and generally should only need replacing every 12 months so this is something to consider when comparing with other models. A heavy smoker may need to replace these filters more regularly so I would generally recommend going for a higher budget purifier that needs replacing less often.


It managed to clear our room of 711 cbft³ in 49 minutes.

SPECS & FEATURES

Purifier technology:H13 Medical-grade HEPA with activated charcoal
Recommended room size:219 sq. ft
Filter life:Change every 6 months at $50
Noise level (low – high):24dB to 50dB
Energy consumption:0.8 watts – 45W maximum
CADR
Smoke – 139CFMDust – 140 CFMPollen – 145 CFM

What We Really Like:

👍 The best air purifier available for less than $100 
👍 Size is not too big and can fit most rooms without taking over
👍 Long term filter costs are low if you choose generic versions of filters
👍 Will pick up particles and odor from smoking with activated charcoal

What We Think Could Be Better:

👎 No smart features need to spend more with the Core 300S for app and auto mode
👎 Energy efficiency is better with more expensive and newer Levoit air purifiers

2. Blueair Blue Pure 411

The Blueair 411 is an easy air purifier to recommend at the sub $100 level as it performs well for a good price. 

It doesn’t come with any bells and whistles like more expensive units like auto mode or its own app it’s just a simple design that just works.

blueair411

The Blueair 411 has three layers of filters with the outside washable material for large particles and then a combination of electrostatic and HEPA to deal with small particles and finally a carbon filter for odors.

This air purifier won’t be right for very large rooms but for those on a budget and in a small location, it is hard not to recommend the Blueair 411.

In our test room of 711 cbft³, it managed the clean the room of all particles in 1 hour and 8 minutes.

SPECS & FEATURES

Purifier technology:Pure HEPA
Recommended room size:50 sqft
Filter life:Every 
Noise level (low – high):17dB – 46dB
Energy consumption:1.5 – 10 Watts
CADRSmoke – 105 CFM  – 180 m³ per hourPollen – 139 CFM – 220 m³ per hourDust – 120 CFM – 200 m³ per hour

What We Really Like:

👍 Colorful design doesn’t look out of place in a modern home
👍 Combination filter that performs well for low energy costs
👍 Choice of colors is rare at this price point
👍 Simple design that is easy to use

What We Think Could Be Better:

👎 No App support or auto-mode you need to look at the higher cost 411+ 
👎 You do get better performance from the Levoit Core 300

3. Levoit Core 200S

If you want smart features like Alexa support for less than $100 then the Levoit Core 200S is about the only option available. 

Based on the design of the Core 300 it’s slightly smaller but comes with App support that is normally only found in the larger priced units in the Levoit brand. 

Similar to the large Levoit Core 300, it has a HEPA with activated charcoal so will be able to deal with pollutants and odors generated by smoking. 

Be aware this is a smaller unit and in general smaller units can only clean small room spaces. For those looking to clean a small bedroom and want to get a smarter air purifier than most, the Levoit Core 200S is worth a look.

In our test room of 711 cbft³, it managed to clean all the pollutants in 61 minutes.

SPECS & FEATURES

Purifier technology:H13 True HEPA with activated charcoal
Recommended room size:183 ft² to 376 ft² 
Filter life:Every 6 months with continuous usage
Noise level (low – high):24dB – 48db on the highest setting
Energy consumption:28.82 watts at its highest fan speed

What We Really Like:

👍 Alexa support – “set the air purifier fan speed to high”
👍 App control with the option to set a schedule
👍 Great looking unit with a clean glass finish on the buttons
👍 Rare to see smart features at this price point

What We Think Could Be Better:

👎 You give up performance for smart features so something to consider
👎 The price of Levoit filters is high ($50) for this type of air cleaning performance but cheaper generic filters are available

Should You Buy an Air Purifier for Less Than $100?

The market is flooded with cheap air purifiers, so to the untrained eye it may seem that there is a lot of choice with those with a budget under $100.

But the reality is that at the cheaper end of the market, you are likely to end up coming back home with a poorly built product that is unlikely to do anything for cigarette smoke.

Even when it comes down to the brands that we love here at HouseFresh, there is always the chance of ending up with a stinker. For example, we love LEVOIT’s Core 300 at $99 but the slightly cheaper LV-H132 is an absolute stinker that should be avoided.

This means that you need to do your research because it can be a minefield to choose an air purifier that will actually help when your budget can’t be stretched past the $100 mark. The good news is that if you go with the three I’ve outlined above, then you will get the most value for your money.

I really hope my shortlist comes in handy, and as always, do let me know if you have any other recommendations or if you have had any issues with the air purifiers I handpicked for this article.

Last update on 2022-12-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API