Wildfires are not only destructive to nature and property, as the smoke they produce can also seriously damage your lungs. If you live somewhere near a campsite or where wildfires are common, an air purifier can make a big difference in your life. Air purifiers cleanse the space of harsh chemicals and odors leftover from smoke. These devices are incredibly important for your well-being, especially if you have a breathing condition.

The Blue Air Blue Pure 211+ air purifier quickly and quietly clears smoke in any large room. You won’t have to worry about the dangers of smoke inhalation with this one, which is why we’ve dubbed it our Best of the Best pick.

What to know before you buy an air purifier for wildfire smoke

What is the primary filter in an air purifier?

When looking to cleanse your home of wildfire smoke, you should make sure the primary filter is a high-efficiency particulate absorbing filter. HEPA filters, according to the EPA, are more effective because they remove up to 99.7% of airborne particles. According to the CDC, implementing a HEPA filter can significantly reduce exposure to smoke pollutants and mitigate health effects caused by smoke.

Airflow and clean air delivery rate of an air purifier

The clean air delivery rate is the standard of performance when it comes to air filters. This is the number of particles removed from the air multiplied by the airflow rate. The CADR is expressed in cubic feet per minute. The higher the CFM, the faster the smoke will be removed. For the best results, choose an air purifier with a high CADR.

Quality of activated carbon filter in an air purifier

The activated carbon filter prevents chemicals and gasses left by smoke from staying in your home. These can be extremely hazardous to your health, which is why it’s important to make sure your purifier has a good one. The more activated carbon pellets, the more effective the filter is. It’s also pivotal to make sure your carbon filter is as quality as your clean air delivery rate, or your air purifier won’t do its job as well.

Air purifier for wildfire smoke features

Noise level of air purifiers

Some air purifiers are so quiet, you won’t even notice they’re running. On the other hand, some appliances are irritatingly loud. If you don’t spend a lot of time in the house, noise level won’t be as much of an issue, as you can just leave it running while you’re gone. However, if you plan on being there while your air purifier is running, make sure you choose an air purifier that’s known for being quiet and subtle. Clean air isn’t going to help you as much if your purifier is keeping you awake at night.

Size of an average air purifier

One thing to consider when choosing an air purifier is how much space it’s going to take up in your home. Most air purifiers are meant to be placed in larger rooms, 3 to 5 feet up off of the floor. Before buying, choose a place for your new appliance that will allow it to work effectively. Larger purifiers should be set on cabinets or tabletops, while smaller ones may fit on your windowsill. If you’re short on surface space, most can also be hung up on the wall.

Advanced or basic user interface?

While some air purifiers just take the press of a button, some have displays that alert you when the filter needs to be changed and the air quality in the room. If you prefer simple use, a one-touch UI may be best for you. If you like to know exactly what is going on inside of your appliance, a UI with additional buttons and information is a good choice.

Air purifier for wildfire smoke cost

Most air purifiers cost between $100 and $400. There are many quality options on the lower end of the scale, but with an appliance that is this important to your health, it may be worth it to invest a little extra.

Air purifier for wildfire smoke FAQ

How long do the filters typically last?

A. Depending on the size of the purifier and frequency of use, a filter can last between six months and 2 years. Be sure to regularly check your filter, especially if you use it on a daily basis.

How well do air purifiers remove smoke odors?

A. It depends on the air purifier and the circumstances. Air purifiers do their best work eliminating odors after the source of the smell is removed. If the wildfire has passed, your appliance should be able to handle the work, assuming it’s a quality product. However, if the smoke is still close by, your purifier will have a harder time keeping up with the odor.

Which air purifier for wildfire smoke should I get?

Best of the best air purifier for wildfire smoke

Blue Air Blue Pure 211+: available at Amazon

Our take: Well suited for large rooms, great at trapping pollutants and has a good user interface.

What we like: For all the power it packs, it’s quiet, consumes low amounts of energy and offers easy single-button control.

What we dislike: Many consumers say this air purifier has an off-putting smell and doesn’t clear odors well. It also lacks features like a carbon filter, an air-quality sensor or timer functions.

Best bang for your buck air purifier

Honeywell HPA030 Tower air purifier: available at Amazon

Our take: Great quality for the price, very effective and easy to use.

What we like: Good for bedrooms. Comes with a 5-year warranty, has three fan speed levels and filters are cheap to replace. Tabletop option available.

What we dislike: It’s made of lower-quality materials than some of its competitors and is not great for larger rooms.

Honorable mention air purifier

Rabbit Air MinusA2: available at Amazon

Our take: An advanced but expensive next-level air purifier that will last.

What we like: Quiet and small, but powerful. The filters are washable for longer use.

What we dislike: Expensive, lower air delivery rate.

Anabelle Weissinger is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

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