An air purifier is a good friend in the battle against unpleasant odors and smells in your home which can come from a wide variety of sources including food, pets, smoke, mold and even garbage.
The content explores why smells are tricky to tackle within any home, common causes of household odors and how an air purifier works to help with odor elimination.
Top air purifier picks for odor removal
This is where we outline our top choices for air purifiers to handle various types of odors and smells from a solid all rounder option to the perfect odor killer for pet owners to a high power air purifying monster to a final sleek and versatile fun option!
Top choice – best all rounder – Alen BreatheSmart Flex
The Alen BreatheSmart Flex is our choice for best all round odor removing air purifier. The BreatheSmart has smoke and odor specific filters and is designed to tackle a broad range of household, pet or cooking smells. This purifier is the best option for someone looking for a versatile, effective and affordable option from a well respected brand who specialise in air purification!
- 2 easy filter options – dust, mold, pet odors or PLUS smoke
- Comforting pink noise generator
- Cleans up to 700 Square Feet 2 times per hour
- Wide selection of colorful panel covers to choose from
- Versatile and can be used in wide variety of rooms
Best for pet odors – Winix HR900
The Winix HR900 is the ultimate air purifier for pet owners, boasting a five stage air purification process complete with washable pre-filter. The HR900 is the next generation of the wildly popular Winix 9500 Ultimate Pet Air Purifier.
This purifier is capable of capturing pet hair, dander and airborne particles in spaces up to 300 square feet.
- Loved by pet owners in customer reviews
- Pet specific air purifier – 5 stage purification process
- Washable pre-filter extends the life of your filter by capturing pet hair
- Activated carbon filter for odor elimination
- Washable Advanced Odor Control (AOCTM) Carbon Filter
High powered odor elimination – Coway Airmega 400
The Coway Airmega 400 is an incredibly powerful air purifier which is capable of removing odors from spaces up to 1,560 square feet!
This monster of an air purification device is packed full of advanced smart features like auto fan speed selection and air quality monitoring. However it stills creates a max noise level of a surprisingly low 43.2 decibels and uses only 64 watts.
- Capable of changing 1,560 feet of air twice in one hour
- Five fan modes and speeds
- Auto air quality detection and sensor
- Powerful dual suction design
- Washable pre-filter to help extend HEPA filter lifetime
Versatile, sleek design and fun – RabbitAir MinusA2
The RabbitAir MinusA2 is an ultra quiet, stylish and versatile air purifier which would improve the look and feel of most modern households.
The purifier can be wall mounted and boasts an in-depth six stage air purification process, which makes use of activated carbon to remove even the most stubborn of household smells.
This versatile but smart purifier can change the air in rooms of up to 700 square feet, two times an hour!
- Advanced six stage purification process
- Odor removing filter – specific for smells
- Cool range of covers – including Hello Kitty and Peanuts designs
- Adaptable due to auto modes
- Energy star rated
Do air purifiers get rid of smells?
A common question for anyone researching air purifiers is ‘do they remove smells?’ – this all depends on the purifier being used and it’s features. Also most models of air purifiers will help with odor removal or tackling smells some are better equipped than others!
Although air purifiers are a great tool in the process of odor removal, there are other factors which need to be consider and actions you can take in your home to limit the impact of unpleasant smells.
It is important to understand what features to look for choosing an air purifier for odor elimination.
The best air purifiers for odor control are those fitted with activated carbon filters as these will work to adsorb smells within the home and remove pollutants from the air.
Purifiers without carbon filters will also remove smells from a home but may be less effective. Purifiers work by removing particles from the air down to 0.3 microns in size (A micron is 1/1,000,000 of a meter). Often these particles are those creating smells so when they are sucked up purifiers and removed from a rooms air they also remove the unwanted odors.
How do air purifiers remove odors and smells
As air purifiers are so quiet, unobtrusive and sleek in design with no visible moving parts it can be difficult to understand or appreciate what is happen with the unit.
Air purifiers are fans which pull air from a room into the device. The speed at which the air is brought into the purification device will depend on fan speed and CADR of the unit.
Once the air enters the device, it is passed through filters to help remove pollutants, odors, VOCs (volatile organic compound) and particles like dust, hair and pet fur.
All of these pollutants are trapped within the devices, true HEPA filter or carbon pre-filter.
Now that offending pollutants and particles have been removed from the air, the new air which is pushed out of the purifier is clean, fresh and much easier to breathe in.
An air purifier can completely cycle or change the air within a room at an incredible rate, ensuring a room is frequently refreshed with new air regularly.
This change rate is known as CADR and the higher the CADR number the better!
Another key tool in the air purifiers arsenal in the tackle against odors is an activated charcoal filter.
Carbon filters work be adsorbing particles which are causing odors. These particles are trapped on the carbon filter as the carbon is an incredibly porous and adsorbent material which has the ability to trap odors and airborne chemicals present effectively.
So, to recap true HEPA filters will capture tiny particles which are releasing doors and purifiers using activated carbon filter will trap particles on the surface of the carbon filter and thus remove the smells from the air of a room.
What common smells purifiers can help with?
Purifiers are an incredibly effective tool to handle most unwanted smells but are commonly used for the following:
- Kitchen / food
- Washing machine / laundry dryer
- Garbage bins / trash cans
- Kids bedrooms
- Mold mustiness
- Paint fumes and construction smells
- Drains – sink and pipes
Although cigarette smoke generally affects homes with smokers living in them. It can affect flats or apartments which are in close proximity to neighbors who smoke.
Smoke can also come from barbeques, machinery or outside sources like pollution or even nearby fires.
Removing smoke is important to ensure smoke smells don’t get onto clothes, fabrics and bedding but as smoke can also be harmful when breathed in using an air purifier to tackle smoke has the benefit of removing unwanted smells and the added bonus of making air cleaner and easily for your lungs to process.
Animals can cause a lot of smells from litter trays, urine, spraying (marking territory), food and even fur.
Pet smells are unpleasant and can be particularly difficult for those suffering from allergies or visitors to your home whom may not be used to pet smells.
Using an air purifier to tackle pet smells has the added bonus of filtering out hair from your homes air which again makes life easier for your lungs to bring clean, fresh air into your body.
Kitchen / food
A kitchen can be a smelly place from food being prepared to garbage bins and food waste. If you make foods which give off particularly strong smells like curries, fish or chilly these smells can linger long after you have enjoyed the dish.
An air purifier is a great tool for tackling kitchen smells and will work extremely hard and quickly to keep your kitchen smelling fresh and pleasant.
Dishwashers are a complicated piece of equipment and have to process any leftover foods and debris on dishes and pot and pans.
Generally, dishwashers are clean and efficient devices but can often create smells when food debris is passed from the machine to a sewage outlet via a pipe.
This can mean unwanted smells in our kitchen or utility room.
An air purifier is a great solution to this problem and can process the air near the dishwasher waste pipe to tackle unpleasant food odors.
Washing machine / laundry dryer
Another household appliance which can create unwanted smells is the washing machine or laundry dryer. Again, complicated pieces of kit which have waste pipe connections to remove or process water and debris from clothes washing.
Placing an air purifier near a washing machines waste pipe is a good way to tackle unwanted smells and clean the air surrounding household appliances.
Different rooms in your home will have different smells and levels of pollutants in the air. Basements are often lacking light sources and can be dusty and musty places. If you dry clothes in your basement or use this area of your home as a utility room, then placing an air purifier in the basement can be a good way to improve air quality and remove unpleasant smells.
Garages are often commonly haunted by car smells, exhaust fumes and cleaning product odors. These can be unpleasant and also harmful when breathed in.
Placing an air purifier in a garage can transform the areas smell in a small amount of time.
Garbage bins / trash cans
If you keep trash cans or garbage bins in your home or near a backdoor these can be a common source of household smells and odors.
Even a brief blast from an air purifier can make the difference between unwanted smells wafting through your home to clean fresh air in your home’s rooms.
Kids and babies create a lot of smells and odors from dirty diapers to frequent gas!
Placing an air purifier near a diaper pail can be a good solution for tackling unpleasant odors and strong smells.
Let’s face it kids’ bedrooms, especially those of teenagers can be smelly places from leftover food and dirty clothes to a lack of light and ventilation.
An air purifier can be a great solution to keep your children’s room full of fresh, clean and ultimately healthy air for their developing lungs to breath in.
Certain darker areas of your home may prone to musty or damp smells and although an air purifier will not resolve the underlying issue it will elevate and reduce the impact or smells and odors.
If your bathroom is used by a lot of people frequently it can develop unpleasant lingering toilet smells and even fragrances from products different products used by people in your household.
An air purifier can be a good method to tackle troublesome smells coming from the bedroom and can make your bathroom and clean fresh environment to use for all members of your household.
Paint fumes and construction smells
If you are doing construction or remodeling in your home this can mean unwanted smells, dust and fumes from products like paint, plaster or sealants.
These products can create dust in the air which is harmful to breathe in and unwanted lingering smells.
An air purifier can quickly work to change the air in a room and can be a great aid to remove construction smells and odors rapidly.
Drains – sink and pipes
When you are using sinks and waste disposals your home unpleasant drain smells may be noticeable for short periods after water is washed down drains.
This can be particularly jarring and unpleasant.
An air purifier can tackle this type of smell quickly and effectively.
Purifier features to look for when choosing a purifier to tackle smells
As mentioned, an air purifier is a great tool in the fight against household smells. However, some air purification devices are better than others at tackling unwanted odors.
Look for an air purifier which has the following features, as these will be the best to fight household smells:
- Activated carbon filter
- Separate carbon and HEPA filter
- True HEPA filter
- Washable filters
- Room capability (high CADR)
Activated carbon filter
This is the number one feature needed when buying a purifier to tackle smells. The activated carbon filter will remove smells and unpleasant odors from the air of your rooms and reintroduce fresh air which smells great.
Great for tackling unwanted smells and uses adsorption to remove smells by using the porous nature of carbon and adsorbent elements which has the ability to trap odors and airborne chemicals present.
Separate carbon and HEPA filter
Carbon and HEPA filters will need replacing at different times. Finding a purifier with separate HEPA and activated carbon filters will save you money and avoid wasting half used filters.
True HEPA filter
Only buy an air purifier which uses true HEPA filters as this is the most effective in the battle against air pollution. HEPA filters have been proven to remove particles from the air down to 0.3 microns in size (A micron is 1/1,000,000 of a meter). Other filters pale in comparison to a true HEPA filter.
Washable pre-filters are another good feature which saves money in the long term. If you buy an air purifier with a pre-filter designed for catching large particles of dust, this can save money spent of frequently replacing true HEPA filters.
Depending on where you plan to use your air purifier, you may decide to buy an air purification device which can easily be moved around the rooms of your home or office.
Portability is a feature to have if you are buying your first purifier as you can test it out easily in different areas of your home.
Room capability (high CADR)
If you are using a purifier to tackle unpleasant smells, then look for a purifier with a high air change rate.
Purifiers with high CADR levels will quickly replace the air of a room and thus remove odors fast!
How to help an air purifier remove odors
Although air purifiers are a great tool in the fight against household odors they may not be enough alone and can be made to be more effective by following a few steps in your home.
Clean regularly – vacuum and mop
Regularly cleaning your home will reduce the amount of smells and pollutants in your home which emit unwanted and unpleasant odors.
Ventilation – open windows
Bringing fresh air into your home from the outdoors will also minimize the impact of smells in your home by cycling the air in your homes rooms.
Keep a clean kitchen and bathroom – high smell zones of the house
Remove items which are producing a lot of smell in your home quickly and don’t allow strong smells to linger in your home.
Frequently Asked Questions – using air purifiers for smells and odors
What is the best air purifier for smell?
An air purifier fitted with an activated carbon filter will be the most effective tool to use to tackle unwanted smells in your home whilst also providing a frequent supply of fresh, clean air.
Do air purifiers remove odor?
Yes, but purifiers fitted with activated carbon filters are more effective at removing odors than those with just true HEPA filters.
Do air purifiers help with smell?
Yes, they can remove a wide variety of smells from your home including food smells, garbage, diapers and pet odors.
Do air purifiers smell when running?
There may give off a light amount of smell when new, but no generally a purifier will not emit a smell when running.
Do HEPA filters remove odors?
Not directly but they do filter out pollutants and particles in the air by trapping them within the filter.
Do air purifiers get rid of musty smells?
Yes, a purifier will provide clean fresh air by pulling a rooms air into the purifier, remove pollutants and particles and then pushing fresh, clean air out.
As you can see there are lots of unpleasant odors or smells in a home, which an air purifier can be a great help with tackling!
The added benefit of using an air purifier to remove unwanted smells is you also end up with much cleaner and fresher air in your home which is much healthier and easier to breathe in!