Air Purifiers for Smell: Best Picks to Odors & VOCs Removal


Home is a place where you relax and enjoy yourself.

Are you tired of the smoke smell or VOCs in your office?

But it would be troublesome if it is filled with kinds of odors that are not welcome, such as trash cans, cigarettes, cooking smoke, pet odors, VOCs and so on.

The best way to deal with this problem is to invest in the best air purifiers to purify these smells.

In this guide, we will show you the best air purifiers to make your home fresher all day.

Table of Content:

1. Bad Smells in Your House & Workplace

2. Can Air Purifiers Remove Odors

3. Air Purifiers for Smell Under $200

4. Air Purifiers vs Ozone Generator

5. Other Ways to Remove Smell

6. FAQs About Air Purifiers for Smell

    1. Different Types of Smells in Your House & Office

    Here I will introduce different kinds of smells in the house. They can be streamlined into the below classes accordingly.

    Musty Smell

    The musty smell is caused by mold. Whether you live in a new house or an old house, mold will grow with the poor ventilation and wet air in your house.

    Some compounds produced by mold are pungent and volatile, and will soon be released into the air. These compounds are called microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOC), which are the source of musty taste.

    The musty smell indicates that there is mold growth in the building, so you should pay attention to it. Long-term exposure to MVOC can lead to headaches, fatigue, nausea and other symptoms.

    Pet Odors

    A national pet owners survey between 2021-2022 by APPA shows that 70% of U.S. households own a pet, which equates to 90.5 million homes.

    Pets bring a lot of fun to our life, but some peculiar smells brought by pets can be troublesome to us.

    The main sources of these odors are the pet's own body smell, urine smell, litter smell, halitosis and ear canal odor. Pets will also shed aged dander. They produce odors in your home and are also a threat to allergic people.

    Smoke Smell

    Are you a smoker or a victim of second-hand smoke?

    Second-hand smoke (SHS) is the common name of passive smoking, that is, the involuntary absorption of smoke from other smokers. Secondhand smoke includes tar, ammonia, nicotine, suspended particles, polonium-210 and more than 4000 kinds of harmful chemicals and dozens of carcinogens.

    Exposure to second-hand smoke can cause many hazards to human health, such as cardiovascular disease, lung cancer, SIDS and harm children.

    Choosing the right air purifiers for smokers can keep your family from secondhand smoking.

    Kitchen Odor

    When you cook, the fumes and odors will stay in your kitchen and home for a long time. In addition, the food stored in the kitchen, the odor of kitchen waste and the odor of sewer will make the kitchen smell unbearable.

    2. Do Air Purifiers Help with Smell?

    Air cleaners are effective in odors removal. The air purifier can absorb various air pollutants, generally including PM2.5, dust, pollen, peculiar smell, bacteria, allergens, etc.

    The key of the air cleaners to purify air is the filter screen. In general, an effective powerful air purifier has a pre-filter, which is used to filter hair and large particle dust; And an activated carbon filter screen is used to absorb odors; HEPA is mainly used to capture 99.97% of dust, bacteria, and any airborne particles with a size of 0.3 microns or larger.

    To remove the odor in the air, it is vital to invest in an air cleaner with activated carbon filters.

    The content and size of activated carbons are the key determinants.

    Firstly, the content of activated carbons in the air filter plays a decisive role in the effect of removing odors. The more activated carbon in the filter, the more pollutants it captures, and the faster the adsorption speed.

    Secondly, another factor affecting the filtration efficiency is the size of activated carbon particles. Smaller particles produce a faster adsorption rate.

    An activated carbon filter is an important supplement to any air purification system. They can be used alone or together with other filters to significantly improve the smell of your house.

    3. Best Air Purifiers for Smell Under $200 

    If you are looking for an air purifier for eliminating odors from mold, dust, cooking, pets and VOCs, you can choose the ideal one below that meets your need.

    #1. Purivortex 201B: Best Air Purifier for VOCs ($49.99)

    This small air purifier is suitable for bedrooms, study rooms, kitchens or workplace to provide you with clean air.

    An activated carbon filter effectively removes VOCs, smoke, and other unpleasant odors from kitchen fumes, detergents, and vents.

    The activated carbon filter acts by adsorption, and more precisely by physisorption. Activated carbon is a very small carbon particle with a large surface area, and there is a finer pore capillary in the carbon particle. This capillary has a strong adsorption capacity.

    Due to the large surface area of carbon particles, they can fully contact with gases (impurities). When these gases (impurities) touch the capillary, they are adsorbed and purified. This means that certain gases present in the air get lodged in the pores of the coal. The air leaving the filter is purified by getting rid of these adsorbed gases.

    #2. Purivortex V3: Best Air Purifier for Pet Odor, Musty and Smoke Smell ($179.99)

    This Purivortex V3 uses a powerful 4-in-1 filtration to eliminate microorganisms from the air.

    It comes with an effective activated carbon filter to remove odors from cooking fumes, pets, smoke and mold.

    If you have any trouble with smoke, kitchen smell or any types of smells, you will be very happy with this air filter.

    The air filter is ideal for rooms of about 430 sq.ft, so it is good for bedroom, kitchen and basement.

    4. Ozone Generator or Air Purifier to Remove Room Smell?

    The short answer is air purifiers. Although ozone is very effective in removing odors, inhalation of ozone can cause harm to your health.

    Inhalation of a small amount of ozone may cause symptoms such as headache, chest pain, cough, shortness of breath, respiratory inflammation and throat irritation.

    Exposure to a large amount of ozone will aggravate asthma, weaken the human immune system and cause irreversible damage to the lungs and other respiratory diseases.

    The air purifier absorbs bad smells by using activated carbons, which has no adverse effect on the human body. Activated carbon is a kind of commonly used air purification materials, mainly applied to adsorb trace toxic gases in the air, such as ammonia, formaldehyde, benzene and so on. It is pollution-free, non-toxic, reliable and has no side effects.

    So, the answer is obvious-AIR PURIFIER is better.

    5. Other Ways for Odor Elimination

    In addition to using an air purifier, you can also take the following measures to remove the odors in your home and workplace.

    Tip 1: Open the window for ventilation.

    Opening windows regularly can accelerate the circulation of air, speed up the exchange of indoor air and outdoor air, and remove odor in a short time. But it won't last long. If you want to remove the smell in your home forever, you must find the source of the bad smell.

    Tip 2: Don't smoke in the house and office.

    If your family or friends are smokers, you’d better persuade them to smoke outside. Keeping ashtrays and smoking materials away from home can prevent the harm of secondhand smoke to air pollution and your health.

    Tip 3: Use items that can absorb odors, such as charcoal and baking soda.

    Charcoal is widely used as a part of filter to remove odor. For example, the air purifier mentioned above uses an activated carbon filter, which is the key for the air cleaner to absorb bad smells. You can also place baking soda in an open container and let it stand for 72 hours. Baking soda absorbs odors well. Please note that you need to replace it every 3 days.

    Tip 4: Put some lemon peel, mint or tea bag in the place with bad smells.

    They can release natural aroma to cover up the bad odors in your home, which can temporarily relieve your breath discomfort.

    Tip 5: Use deodorizing spray.

    You can choose indoor sprays that can eliminate odors. They can make your room smell good.

    Tip 6: Clean your home regularly.

    If you take the above measures and the odor still exists, the odor may have penetrated into your furniture. You need to clean every corner of your home, including walls, ceilings, carpets, curtains, windows, etc.

    It is useful to add professional detergent and white vinegar to eliminate the smell. In addition, you can hang them in the sun and sterilize them with ultraviolet light.

    6. FAQs About Air Purifiers for Smell

    Q1. To reduce the bad smell in my car, can I use an air purifier?

    YES! It is useful to put an air purifier in the car. The air cleaner can filter out most suspended particulate matter, dust and chemical pollutants in the car, and absorb the bad smell in the car.

    If your car is brand new, the air filter can also absorb formaldehyde to a certain extent. Of course, using an air purifier alone cannot completely remove the smell in the car. You can open the window for ventilation frequently.

    Q2. Can running a dehumidifier without an air filter remove smoke odor?

    They are totally different.

    An air purifier is designed to filter airborne particulates, while the function of the dehumidifier is to remove excess moisture from the air, like in a very damp basement in a house.

    If you run a dehumidifier alone in your house, it can take the humidity out of a room effectively. Lowering the humidity in your house can prevent mold from forming in the basement, which can inhibit the production of moldy odor.

    But wait a minute. Dehumidifiers can inhibit the generation of moldy smells by inhibiting the growth of molds, but it has nothing to do with other kinds of smells, such as smoke smells, VOCs and cooking odors. So if you want to remove smoke odor, it would be preferable to choose an air filter.

    Q3. Can I use an essential oil diffuser and air purifiers at the same time?

    It is hard to say. It greatly depends on what kind of air purifier you are using.

    An air purifier that only has a HEPA filter or UV lamp will do nothing to smell. If your air purifier has an activated carbon filter, negative ions or ozone sanitizer, the smell of oils will disappear or reduce due to the purification processes.

    I recommend that you use the air purifier first and then the oil diffuser. Thus you can enjoy the clean air with fragrant oil smell.

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