Person smoking a cigarette at home in front of their laptop

The 3 best air purifiers for cigarette smoke in 2023

Smoke is a major source of pollution in our homes. Whether it is cigarette vapour or second-hand/cooking smoke problems, these fumes are the main culprits in respiratory cancers and can in the short term cause asthma attacks, allergies and emphysema.

The most effective way to eliminate this pollution is with an air purifier. But do you know which air purifier to choose to eliminate cigarette smoke? And which devices to avoid?

Our selection for the year 2023

There are many air purifiers on the market. In order to make your choice easier, we have limited our selection to 3 products that we believe are the best for smoke removal in 2023.

1. Rowenta Intense Pure Aire XL Connect air purifier

The most efficient

The Rowenta Intense Pure Air Connect XL is a quality air purifier that tends towards the high end with its NanoCaptur technology, silence, size and power. Suitable for medium to large rooms, it is undeniably one of the best performing air purifiers to date, with an ozone-free 100 % mechanical air purification system and many interesting additional features.

>> Read our test

2. Pure A9 air purifier

Our favourite 

The Pure A9 air purifier is without doubt one of the best models we have tested. Whether you have allergies or asthma, this device will ensure that you have healthy air in your home. The Pure A9 is ideal for improving the air quality of medium to large rooms (up to 129 m² depending on the model) and offers a much better price/performance ratio than its competitors.

>> Read our test

3. Xiaomi Mi 3H Air Purifier

The best value for money

The Xiaomi Mi 3H air purifier is a device with many features not found in the competition. This connected air purifier is affordable and offers excellent value for money.

Designed for areas up to 45 m², you can place it in any room. The multitude of options, the variety of speeds and the minimal design make it a complete tool. In addition, the Xiaomi Mi 3H air purifier is outstanding in terms of performance as evidenced by its CADR certification.

>> Read our test

What are the best options for smoke removal?

To combat cigarette smoke, an air purifier must be able to remove the airborne particles that form visible smoke and the molecules that make up its odour. To be effective, the device must have at least :

  • A HEPA filter HEPA filter: this filter removes 99.97 % of pollutant particles present in visible smoke and measuring up to 0.3 microns. Although powerful, HEPA filters do not neutralise volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and toxic gases.
  • An active carbon filter The filter is a unique filter made of activated carbon. Thanks to its ultra-fine pores, the charcoal adsorbs the cigarette smoke. The molecules are trapped in the many pores of the charcoal and the odour of the cigarette smoke dissipates (it is not released into the air).
Close-up of a HEPA particulate filter

If you are using an air purifier to remove cigarette smoke, you should also consider the pre-filter and filter: these are medium-sized and will help you to reduce most of the toxic compounds in the smoke. These filters are normally washable and maintaining them will increase the life of your HEPA filter.

Your purifier can also be equipped with an ioniser: ionisation reduces the particles suspended in the domestic air thanks to the cloud of negative ions emitted by the device. On contact with it, the polluting particles fall to the ground under the effect of weightlessness.

Finally, it is not necessary for your air purifier to have UV-C filters. As useful as they are for inactivating viruses and bacteria, they are not effective against the harmful compounds found in cigarette smoke.

Is the air in your house not only polluted by smoke?

>> Discover our complete guide to air purifiers

What is in cigarette smoke?

Cigarette smoke contains an impressive number of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). There are more than 7,000 chemicals in smoke and most of these molecules are carcinogenic. When you smoke tobacco, you also expose those around you to these chemicals (passive smoking). These include :

  • Nicotine This molecule, naturally present in the tobacco plant, stimulates the production of dopamine in your body. Its effect is immediate: it gives the smoker a fleeting feeling of well-being.
  • Arsenic Used in pesticides during tobacco cultivation, this substance is released when the smoker consumes a cigarette.
  • Composition and flavouring agents Smoke additives: these substances have the unfortunate tendency to expand your airways to make it easier for smoke to enter the lungs. They improve the taste and reduce the irritation of the mucous membranes during smoke inhalation.

For smokers, it is likely that reading this article makes you want to light up a cigarette: a strange reaction, no? Not really... In fact, for the past few minutes, the unconscious part of your brain has been reminding you of the satisfaction you get from a puff of cigarette, the so-called withdrawal syndrome...

This reaction is due in part to the other compounds in cigarette smoke that contribute to your addiction. These include :

  • Benzene It penetrates the cells and changes their DNA.
  • Ammonia It promotes the absorption of nicotine by the body.
  • Cadmium This heavy metal is present in the batteries of your cars and is known to be carcinogenic.
  • Formaldehyde This product is responsible for leukaemia.
  • But also: hydrogen cyanide, tar, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, lead, etc.

What odours can a purifier neutralise?

Air purifiers are very effective at removing odours from your home. They are composed of a fan and can suck and stir the air in the room where they are located, thus continuously cleaning and recycling the air.

Equipped with an activated carbon filter, a purifier will be able to adsorb chemicals and odours from the air. Complemented with a HEPA filter, your device will be able to capture all the fine particles likely to emit odours, namely :

Cigarette smoke

It is probably the most unpleasant smell you can smell. Smokers have a natural tendency to move this odour into rooms, as the molecules in the smoke cling to clothing and hair. Composed of formaldehydeCigarette smoke is dangerous for passive smokers. The activated carbon filter will allow you to capture these molecules in order to regain healthy air.

Pet odours

Today, there are about 63 million pets in France, and the smell of our pets can be a real nightmare if you suffer fromallergies. Thanks to its filtration system, the activated carbon filter will allow you to adsorb the effluvia of your pets, their beds and their litter, and thus find a quality air.

Pug Breed dog in a comfortable room with an air purifier

Food and cooking odours

Cooking is one of the main sources of odours in your home. Cooking fish, for example, can leave an unpleasant odour. strong and persistent odourThe activated carbon filter can be used for the treatment of foodstuffs, as well as foodstuffs containing spices and similar ingredients. Thanks to its high porosity, the activated carbon filter will help you get rid of all these fumes.

Household products

Household products and building materials are a source of pollution that causes bad odours. An air purifier equipped with an activated carbon filter will be effective in neutralising these noxious odours.

Are odours dangerous to health?

We are not all equal when it comes to illness and some people may be prone to problems with the sense of smell.

These conditions include cacosmia. This disorder is manifested by the perception of unpleasant or even foul odours, even though they are not actually present in the air. For example, a flower smell may be perceived as a bad smell. There are many causes of cacosmia, including air pollution.

Another known disorder is parosmia. This syndrome occurs in people who have suffered a head injury or a common cold. The scents that have disappeared are replaced by a smell of burning or even excrement. Comparable to cacosmia, the brain interprets the molecules in the air differently.

Whether or not you are prone to these disorders, an air purifier will allow you to clean up the atmosphere and help you neutralise the effluvia present in the air.

The Daily | Should I invest in an air purifier?

Our grandmotherly tips for removing tobacco odours in the home

Unlike other smells such as fresh paint, the smell of cigarettes is known for its tendency to permeate fabrics and concrete walls. So, if you have just quit smoking or are renting a new flat where the last occupant was a heavy smoker, you are likely to give your space a fresh and livable look. Here are some tips on how to get rid of cigarette smell using inexpensive methods and materials.

1. The vinegar and ammonia method

Vinegar is to odour removal what oven cleaner is to burn marks - the most effective solution. To remove cigarette odours, consider adding ammonia to the mixture. Here's how to do it: take two separate bowls, fill one with vinegar and the other with ammonia, and place them where you think the cigarette smell is most pungent. Leave the bowls in position for a week to remove the lingering smell.

2. Clean your carpets and rugs

No other fabric in the house takes up more surface area than your carpet or rug. Cigarette odour tends to settle easily on fabrics, so you should give them a new smell.

To do this, arm yourself with baking soda and sprinkle it on your carpets or rugs. Vacuum it up after about 30 minutes, then spray a mist of one part vinegar and two parts water. Then turn on your fan and let it dry slowly. Allow approximately 12 hours for the odour to disappear completely.

Devon Rex cat sitting next to a modern hoover

3. Refresh your furniture and cupboards

You can rid your furniture and cabinets of the smell of smoke with a vinegar solution containing one part vinegar to two parts water. Spray this mixture inside cupboards and drawers and rub them with a soft cloth. If the smell persists, take old newspapers and a bowl of ground coffee and place them inside. The odours should disappear in about two weeks.

4. Clean blinds and curtains

To clean the curtains of your cigarette or cooking smells, you will need vinegar. It is an excellent natural odour remover. Add it to a container of water in a relatively small amount (about one part vinegar to two parts water) and soak your curtains. Be careful, though: vinegar has bleaching properties and will easily discolour your curtains if you leave them in the solution for too long.

To clean your blinds: place them in a bathtub (or basin) filled with hot water and a cup of vinegar. Soak for 15 minutes or so before scrubbing with a soft scrubbing brush. Then hang your blinds outside and let them dry.

5. Change the floor

There are two situations that would require you to radically change your floor just to eliminate the smell of cigarettes:

  • The carpet is severely affected by prolonged smoking that you cannot clean at 100 %.
  • Cigarette burns have completely ruined the carpet or rug and you'd better replace it.

If this is the case, you will need to remove your carpet and then scrub the bare floor with a vinegar solution or other odour remover before installing a new floor. If you are lucky enough to have a wooden floor in your home, buy Murphy's oil soap or a similar cleaner and use it to wash your floor.

6. What if the smell persists?

Have you cleaned your flat and want to get rid of the odours forever? Then consider the following tips:

  • Improve cross-ventilation of your home by installing fans and open your windows if you feel a musty smell is present in the house.
  • Wash your walls and ceilings, as the tar in cigarette smoke permeates all surfaces.
  • Invest in an air purifier They are excellent tools when it comes to removing odours and dust particles. This device will be indispensable if a family member is allergic to tobacco smoke particles.

If the smell persists even after all your efforts, consider repainting your walls and ceiling with an oil-based Kilz primer. You can also consult a salesperson at your local hardware shop about what paint to use for walls with cigarette odours; chances are they will provide you with a sealant to apply to the ceiling and walls before repainting. This sealant is used to prevent the smell from seeping into the freshly applied paint.