Best Air Purifiers For Smoke Under $100 (2021 Review)

If you’re in the market for a budget friendly air purifier for smoke, you’ve come to the right place!

In this proHVACinfo guide, you will learn the following:

  • What are air purifiers for smoke under $100?
  • What are the different types of air purifiers for smoke under $100? (do HEPA filters matter?)
  • How do air purifiers for smoke under $100 work? (what you should know before buying)
  • What do you look for in the best air purifiers for smoke under $100? (how to get the most bang for your buck)
  • And much more!

Below you’ll find a quick list of our top 5 recommendations, keep scrolling to learn more.

1.    TaoTronics HEPA Air Purifier (Our Top Pick)

2.    Hamilton Beach TrueAir Air Purifier (Best Budget)

3.    Pure Enrichment PureZone 3-in-1 Air Purifier (Best High-End)

4.    Holmes Desktop HEPA-Type Filter & Optional Ionizer

5.    hOmeLabs Purely Awesome Air Purifier with True HEPA Filter

Our Overall #1 Rated Pick

TaoTronics really knocked it out of the park with their portable HEPA air purifier.

Why?

Let’s start with the superficial stuff – it looks great! It features a super sleek, modern design that will fit in nicely in any room in your home.

When it comes to performance, this TaoTronics portable HEPA really leads the pack!

It has three layers of filtration, it can filter up to 99.97% of small particles, and is exceptionally effective against dust, pet dander, cooking odors, and most importantly, smoke.

What Are Air Purifiers For Smoke Under $100?

Air Purifiers are devices designed to pass polluted air through a filter, or a series of filters, in order to remove harmful large and small particles from the atmosphere in your home.

Once the air is filtered, a fan pushes the clean air out into the space. For this reason, they are sometimes referred to as air sanitizers, as they clean the air you’ll eventually be breathing.

Portable air purifiers for smoke under $100 are typically smaller units designed to clean the air in a single room, or a partial area of that room, as opposed to cleaning a larger area (or even the air for the whole building).

Best-in-class air purifiers (of all price ranges) feature “True HEPA” filtration, which is a rigorous quality standard the purifier must meet to earn the “HEPA” designation.

In the under-$100 range, you’re more likely to run into “HEPA-Type” filters. These can still be effective, but don’t meet quite the same standard as their “True HEPA” counterparts.

Don’t worry; you can still find air purifiers under $100 that have True HEPA technology (we’ve picked some of our favorites to review).

What Are The Different Types Air Purifiers For Smoke Under $100?

HEPA Filtration

HEPA stands for “High Efficiency Particulate Air” [filtration]. With this type of purification, air is forced through an extremely fine filter media, capable of clearing air pollutants as small as 0.3 microns.

For this reason, they are exceptionally effective for capturing and removing air contaminants.

If you’re specifically looking for an air purifier for smoke, you’re actually less inclined to care about HEPA vs. HEPA-Type filters.

Why?

These are particle filters, so they target different air pollutants than those generated by smoke.

What you should really be focused on is an air purifier with a solid activated carbon (sometimes called activated charcoal filters). These are most effective for handling

contaminants like smoke. Let’s take a look!

Activated Charcoal Filtration

Activated charcoal (sometimes also referred to as “activated carbon”) is a material that has been used in industrial filters for quite some time.

It is exceptionally effective at removing gases like smoke and volatile organic compounds, or VOCs from the atmosphere.

This makes them an excellent choice when it comes to removing harmful smoke particles.

Again, if your focus is on eliminating smoke and its associated smell, be sure to get an air purifier with a strong activated charcoal filter.

Ionization Purifiers

Ionizing air purifiers produce charged ions and blow them out into the air in the room the purifier is in.

When the ionized particles come into contact with the neutrally charged atmospheric particles, they take on that charge.

The end result is the atmospheric particles becoming attracted to, and sticking to walls and other surfaces, rather than continuing to float in the atmosphere.

Electrostatic Purifiers

Electrostatic purifiers make use of filters with an electrostatic charge.

As air passes through the filters, the electrostatic filter media attracts and captures airborne contaminants.

Some electrostatic purifiers are even capable of killing mold spores, viral, and bacterial particles with their positive charge.

UV Lights

UV, or ultraviolet light is a known killer of germs and viral particles. Some air purifiers are fitted with built in lights to combat pathogens in the air.

While having the UV feature is nice overall, it isn’t all that helpful for smoke specifically.

How do Air Purifiers For Smoke Under $100 Work?

By utilizing any one (or sometimes multiple) of the technologies listed above, air purifiers for smoke clean the air that passes through them, and then push that air out into the room, or space, that you are in.

The large particles and contaminants found in smokecan be extremely hazardous to health, but an effective air purifier can literally trap the particles in its filter media, or neutralize them in the air with ionization technology before they ever reach your lungs.

 If you’re interested in a deeper dive on air purifier technology, take a look at our article on How Air Purifiers Work

What Do You Look For In The Air Purifiers For Smoke Under $100?

The technology used for purification varies between units, but there are still some features common to most purifiers that you should be on the lookout for.

High Effectiveness Percentage

You will want to make sure that your air purifier is rated to remove at least 99% of small particles from the air.

Ultrafine particles (those that are less than 10 micrometers in diameter) are actually the most hazardous to health, so the higher the rating for small particles, the better.

The True HEPA purifiers we recommend are rated to remove up to 99.97% of particles!

Build Quality

When shopping to a budget, you are far more likely to find poorly made products, especially in the ultra-competitive air purifier market. This is why it’s especially important to look for sturdy products.

Buttons are often the first thing to break on cheaper devices, so be sure that the controls on the purifier you buy are sturdy enough for daily use.

Ease Of Filter Replacement

Not only should any filter media be easy to remove and replace, it should also be easy to find. A good air purifier for smoke under $100 will use replaceable filter media that is either a generic size, or readily available, and cost effective to replace.

Our Reviews Of The Best Air Purifiers for Smoke Under $100

TaoTronics HEPA Air Purifier

This purifier from TaoTronics offers an advanced 3 stage filter, which combines a pre-filter with an activated charcoal filter and a True HEPA filter. This combination of effective purifying media helps the TaoTronics purifier remove as much as 99.97% of dangerous ultrafine airborne contaminants.

In addition to its purifying prowess, this unit also boasts quiet operation, and even includes a sleep mode, which further reduces fan noise when it matters most.

Pros

  • Compact size
  • Activated charcoal filtration
  • 4 Fan speeds

Cons

  • Small cleaning footprint
  • Touchscreen type buttons

Pure Enrichment PureZone 3-in-1 Air Purifier

Pure Enrichment have built a low cost air purifier that works very well for smoke. Like others we tested, it has a 3 stage filtration system, but it also has the additional benefit of UV light, which, of course, further helps in the sanitization of the air.

This is an energy efficient unit with 3 timer settings and a continuous running mode. To back up the excellent build quality, you get a 5 year warranty, which really shows the manufacturer stands behind their product.

Pros

  • Multiple purification methods
  • Easy to replace filters
  • Excellent customer support

Cons

  • Weak on odor prevention
  • No full filter notification

Hamilton Beach TrueAir Air Purifier

Hamilton Beach has been a household name for years. Their products are in many of the big box stores, and it’s a well trusted brand.

This low cost air purifier isn’t the fanciest, nor does it offer the most features, but it’s reliable, and does a good job with filtering smoke thanks to its 3 stage filtration.

This purifier features ongoing savings, in that the HEPA filter element is reusable. Simply vacuum it when it gets full and reinsert – no need to buy replacements.

Because this is a widely available product both online and in stores, finding the replacement carbon filters is a piece of cake.

Pros

  • Great value for money
  • Slimline design

Cons

  • Not the sleekest looking
  • Cleaning filters can be a hassle

Holmes Desktop HEPA-Type Filter & Optional Ionizer

Holmes are well known for their small electrical appliances, and this air purifier for smoke lives up to the brand’s reputation.

As the model name suggests, this is a desktop unit, making it a great choice for your office, or even for your nightstand.

It features both a HEPA filter and ionization technology, giving a dual pronged approach to reducing airborne particles caused by smoke.

If your budget is more flexible, you can check out our review of the Best Holmes Air Purifiers

Pros

  • Low cost
  • Filter change indicator
  • Available in black or white

Cons

  • Lower particle removal than others we tested
  • Operation can be loud

hOmeLabs Purely Awesome Air Purifier with True HEPA Filter

Awesome by name, awesome by nature! hOmeLabs Purely awesome air purifier deserves its place on this list thanks to its 3 stage filtration, including an authentic HEPA H13 filter.

H13 filters are medical-grade, so you know you’re getting top notch air filtration technology.

On medium settings, you can expect your filters to last approximately 3 months.

It boasts nice, quiet operation, and even features a child lock mode, which is ideal if you plan to use it in a nursery and don’t want your children to accidentally alter any settings. hOmeLabs also offer excellent customer service, with a 2 year limited warranty, as well as a 30 day free returns policy.

Pros

  • Easy access to filters
  • Extremely compact

Cons

  • Light can’t be turned off
  • Only rated for 80 sq ft rooms

If you’re looking for an air purifier for your little one, check out our review of the Best Air Purifiers for Babies

Final Thoughts On The Best Air Purifiers For Smoke Under $100

In many cases, you’ll “get what you pay for” when it comes to buying cheaper air purifiers, but in some cases, like the ones we’ve brought to you in this proHVACinfo guide, you’ll get something really useful.

With wildfires becoming more and more common, smoke is a serious concern for many residents across certain areas of the country.

You can significantly reduce the health hazards caused by smoke related pollution by investing in an air purifier for smoke.

Not only will you reduce the associated health hazards by investing in an air purifier for smoke, you will also reduce the wear and tear on your home’s HVAC system.

A purifier will capture airborne contaminants, leaving fewer particles to find their way into the ducting. Remember – clean air in, clean air out!

Stephen Marks

Stephen Marks

Stephen is an HVAC and home-repair enthusiast. He's here to answer any of your questions about HVAC!

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Stephen Marks

Stephen Marks

Stephen is an HVAC and home-repair enthusiast. He's here to answer any of your questions about HVAC!

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