Best Air Purifiers for Wildfire Smoke

Our tests of air purifiers with HEPA filters show that they can help get rid of these harmful particulates. The aforementioned study suggests that they can even cut the level of these irritants by half. But not all air purifiers do a good job of removing smoke particulates. (You can see proof of that in our air purifier ratings.) The most effective ones against smoke have a HEPA filter and a large fan that helps to force air through a fine mesh to trap particles.

The best air purifiers fitted with HEPA filters can reduce particle concentrations by as much as 85 percent, according to the EPA. If you want to get rid of the smell of smoke in addition to particles, you’ll want an air purifier that also has a large carbon filter to absorb odors.

HEPA air purifiers can range from $50 to more than $1,000. Our experts advise against buying one that’s marketed for rooms smaller than 150 square feet. Those models tend to perform poorly in our tests, plus you’ll always get better results with a unit that’s rated well for a larger space than you intend to use it in. Purifiers for rooms larger than 350 square feet are much better at removing smoke. Most of CR’s recommended air purifiers fall into that category.

“If you look at any of the top-rated air purifiers tested in our labs, they’re physically big because of the big HEPA filter inside of them,” says John Galeotafiore, associate director of product testing at Consumer Reports. “That’s the one thing they all have in common.”