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Is an air purifier for smoking weed different from the top traditional air purifiers? In theory, the answer is no. However, because marijuana creates multiple pollutants when smoked, the air purifier’s filtration method is going to be a major factor in determining how effectively those elements are removed from the air. In particular, you’ll want to prioritize a combination of HEPA and activated carbon filters or splurge on the proprietary PECO technology for a more thorough filtration method.
Additionally, you’ll need to pay attention to the CADR score, especially as it relates to smoke and VOCs, since these are the two main pollutants that marijuana smoke creates. This article isn’t a referendum on whether or not you should smoke weed. And depending on where you live, it might already be legal for medical or recreational use — or both.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: Its UV C light is ideal for users who need to eliminate airborne pollutants and bacteria from the air. It also has an activated charcoal filter to eliminate foul smells.
The GermGuardian AC4825E is a highly efficient air purifier that promises to rid the air of up to 99.97% of germs through its elaborate 4-stage air purification process. The air purifier also features a UV-C light to eliminate viruses and bacteria and a charcoal filter to reduce common odors from pets, smoking, and cooking. It has an Energy Star rating for its low power consumption and is effective at cleaning a 153 sq ft room up to five times an hour. Its lowest setting reduces the noise produced for a quiet and peaceful night. You’ll want to read our Bissell MyAir 2780a review for another quiet unit.
The air purifier also comes with a True HEPA filter to trap dust mites, pollen, and pet dander, as well as indicator lights that blink whenever it is time to replace either the filter or the UV C bulb. Weed users have reported effective odor elimination, but owners are advised to replace the filter every 6 to 9 months, depending on use.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: It is perfect for small spaces and operates very quietly. It is also easy to use, and its compact size makes it very portable.
The Levoit LV-H132 is a well-designed air purifier that promises to clean out the air in a room both quietly and efficiently. The air purifier can quickly clean the air in 129 sq ft in 12 minutes, making it ideal for small-sized homes. When set to its lowest speed setting, the air purifier produces only 25dB, making it quiet enough for peaceful sleep. It has also got two night light brightness settings for users to choose from and is pretty energy efficient. Unfortunately, it does not have a timer like some of the leading personal air purifiers have.
Similar to the finest car air purifiers, this air purifier also comes with a check filter indicator to let users know whenever their filters are due for replacement and three different fan modes for users to switch between depending on their room’s air quality. Its H13 HEPA filter traps up to 99.97% of airborne particles, and its compact size allows users to quickly and easily change it across different rooms in the house.
Award: BEST FOR BIG SPACES
WHY WE LIKE IT: It is an ideal option for users with big spaces and comes with a timer and check filter indicator for optimized functioning.
The Honeywell HPA300 air purifier is great for cleaning large rooms up to 465 sq. feet in size. In such a room, it can clean out the air up to 4.8 times in one hour, making it pretty quick to eliminate airborne particles from a large room space. This also means it’d be a great air purifier for a basement. It has four different cleaning levels and a HEPA filter that eliminates up to 99.97% of airborne particles and allergens. Its filter indicator lets you know when to change or clean the primary filter, but unfortunately, some users have reported that it is pretty loud, even at low speeds. If you prefer a model with more controlled sound, consider one of the top-rated air purifiers for large rooms.
The air purifier is also energy-star qualified, so it has very low power consumption, and with a programmable timer, owners will also be able to decide whether it should shut off after two, four, or eight hours of operation. The air purifier also has a dimmer on its control panel, where users will be able to control how bright it can get and adjust it to eliminate any disruption during sleep. Users have reported that it efficiently removes odors such as weed and smoke as long as its pre-filter is replaced when needed.
Award: BEST FOR CONVENIENCE
WHY WE LIKE IT: It is excellent for use in huge spaces and has a remote control for convenient use.
The Hathaspace HSP001 air purifier boasts a 5-in-1 filtration system that promises to eliminate 99.9% of pet dander, odors, pollen, smoke, and mold. It is an excellent option for owners who have asthma, allergies, or pets around their living space, and since it comes with a remote control, users will be able to easily control the air purifier without having to walk up to it. The air purifier can clean out all of the air in a 700 sq ft space in as little as an hour, but it does not come with a filter change indicator.
However, it can be set to an auto mode where it picks up the air quality in a room and automatically adjusts its fan speed to efficiently clean the air. Users will also be able to get a reading on the air quality of the room they are in, and as far as weed, smoke, and other foul odors are concerned, the air purifier can get rid of such through its activated carbon filter. These benefits are what make this a great air purifier for smoke and an excellent purifier for odor.
Award: BEST FOR AESTHETICS
WHY WE LIKE IT: It is an ideal option for users who want to match it with their space. It can also be set to operate very quietly and is efficient at filtering out large airborne particles.
The Blueair BluePure 211+ air purifier cleans out the air in three stages courtesy of its use of Swedish Filter Technology. It can also be set to its lowest speed to operate quietly at about 31 dB, and with a set of two washable pre-filters, it is pretty efficient at eliminating large air particles from the air. The air purifier also has an energy star rating for low energy consumption and comes with an activated carbon layer to get rid of foul odors such as weed and smoke. Unfortunately, it does not have an auto mode for seamless functioning.
The air purifier is also well-designed and allows users to change its pre-filter color for a more authentic fit into your space. Operating it is simple thanks to its one-button control, and with a Clean Air Delivery Rating (CADR) of 350 CFM for both pollen and dust particles, the air purifier is well suited for effectively cleaning up the air in large rooms.
Award: BEST FOR PORTABILITY
WHY WE LIKE IT: It is ideal for users who value portability and have a sizeable space. It is also very easy to operate.
This Pure Enrichment PureZone air purifier allows for three stages of filtration and keeps 99.97% of dust, pollen, pet hander, and household odors away. It also comes with a built-in UV light to disintegrate germs and bacteria, and with up to three fan speeds to choose between, users will be able to adapt it to its functioning. The air purifier can also be programmed to operate for a stipulated amount of time and is also quite portable since it weighs only 8 pounds. Unfortunately, it does not have a remote for convenient operation.
The air purifier is excellent for medium to large-size rooms and has a filter reset indicator that lets users know whenever it is due for a change. Replacing the filters when a change is due keeps it effective at eliminating foul odors such as weed and smoke. The PureZone air purifier also has a decent Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) of 80 CFM.
Even though marijuana is increasingly being declassified as a legal use substance, most well-known air purifier brands won’t specifically market their devices solely for removing marijuana smoke. This has more to do with social mores and public perception as opposed to whether or not an air purifier can remove weed smoke, odors, particulates, and associated volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are released into the air when you smoke marijuana.
So, if you’re shopping for an air purifier to prevent that obvious weed odor from lingering in your home, you’re going to want to start by looking for air purifiers designed to remove smoke. But you need to take your search a step further, because, as we mentioned, when burned, marijuana also releases VOCs. The most well-known VOCs released from weed smoke include nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, benzene, and formaldehyde. It’s why we also recommend the top-rated air purifiers for VOCs and formaldehyde.
For this reason, if you smoke weed, the best air purifiers to keep your home smelling fresh are usually going to feature a combination of filters. You can easily opt for an air purifier that has both a HEPA filter and an activated carbon filter. Alternatively, if you have a healthy budget, you can opt for an air purifier that uses photoelectrochemical oxidation (PECO) technology. However, PECO is proprietary to the Molekule air purifier brand.
If you have a home office, the best air purifiers for the offices or desktop air purifiers might also be of interest to you.
In theory, an air purifier for weed smoke isn’t that different from a traditional air purifier in that both operate similarly. All air purifiers are designed to remove pollutants from the air, but with varying degrees of success depending on which pollutants you’re targeting.
In fact, most air purifiers are designed to enhance indoor air quality and improve environments for those who want cleaner air that’s free from tobacco smoke, gaseous pollutants, and unpleasant odors. You can also learn how to make an air purifier with tea tree oil for an option that will have a pleasant scent.
The best air purifiers for weed smoke usually feature both HEPA and activated carbon filters since the HEPA filter can remove particulates as small as 0.03 microns, and activated carbon is effective at removing VOCs. Both of these filters are incredibly common and can be found on most air purifiers.
Plus, some air purifiers can remove larger particles like ash, dust, pollen, and aerosols. For heavy scents such as wildfire smoke and cannabis smoke, you’ll need carbon filtration in an air purifier.
However, some air purifiers rely on different technology to filter the air and are less effective against weed smoke. For example, ozone generators and ionizers are usually not recommended because not only are they not as effective at removing odors or filtering out particles, but they both can pose a health hazard because of the ozone created.
For the most part, the filtration process for air purifiers for weed smoke operates the same as any other air purifier. Air enters through the intake, where it’s passed through one or more filters. If your unit has a pre-filter, this step will catch the largest particles, helping to extend the lifespan of the primary filter(s).
HEPA filters will remove smoke and particles as small as 0.03 microns. Meanwhile, an activated carbon filter will remove chemical gases and vapors — including VOCs — which contribute to odors.
If you opt for a Molekule air purifier that relies on PECO technology, this device will do more than simply trap particles but also destroy them. Once the filtration process is complete, the air is passed back out into the room through an outtake.
If you smoke weed, then you know that varying strains can have different odors. But in general, weed has a very distinctive smell. And much like cigarette smoke, it lingers and can get into soft surfaces — including clothing. Unless you want everyone to think that you spend all day getting high, a good air purifier is a must if you smoke indoors. You can also read about how an air purifier vs cigarette works if weed isn’t the only thing you smoke.
You Smoke Weed Frequently: The most obvious reason for buying an air purifier is to help remove that identifying smell. Especially if you’re someone who frequently smokes in your home, that smell can build up and get trapped in the soft surfaces of your home over time.
You Want to Minimize VOC Exposure: Technically speaking, if you smoke weed you’re already inhaling a large amount of VOCs with every drag. But if other people in your home don’t smoke, a good air purifier with either an activated carbon filter or PECO technology can help remove VOCs.
You Want to Remove Particulates: Along the same lines as VOCs, weed also releases a large number of particulates into the air. An air purifier with a HEPA filter can help to remove particles as small as 0.3 microns.
You Only Smoke Occasionally: If you only smoke every once in a great while, an expensive Molekule or HEPA filter air purifier might not make sense for you.
You Don’t Interact with Others Often: For someone who rarely interacts with others, lives alone, and works remotely, the smell of weed might not be an issue. Technically speaking, because of prolonged exposure you won’t notice the weed smell and might not feel the need for an air purifier.
You Only Smoke Outside: Legally speaking, people in states that allow recreational weed use are only allowed to smoke at home. But that doesn’t mean that people don’t smoke in their backyard or front porch. If you never smoke indoors, you might not need an air purifier.
As with all air purifiers, the question is never about how long the unit will last. When treated properly, an air purifier can last for years before it needs to be replaced. Instead, the question is how frequently do the filters need to be replaced? And, how much do those filters cost?
Keep in mind that if you’re focused on weed smoke and odors, this is going to be a more costly investment because you either must rely on a combination of HEPA and activated carbon filters, or the Molekule proprietary filters. The same goes for a toxic gas like radon, where a “radon air purifier” is usually one with a dedicated carbon filter.
If you have a combination HEPA and activated carbon filter, both filters need to be replaced based on different timelines. HEPA filters can be replaced every six to 12 months and can cost as much as $200 per filter with most available in the $80 range. Activated carbon filters must be replaced every three to six months and usually won’t cost more than $50 per filter.
Molekule air purifiers feature a pre-filter and the primary PECO technology filter. Because Molekule features a proprietary filtration technology, you can only use their approved filters. The pre-filter must be replaced every three months while the primary filter should be changed every six months. The filter prices vary depending on the model you select but expect to spend anywhere from $80 to $150 per filter.
Paying attention to the filter technology is the most important part of picking an air purifier that’s effective at removing that obvious weed smell from your home. But there are still other key aspects like CADR, and ease of operation that must be considered.
Only three proven filtration methods are effective against weed smoke: HEPA, activated carbon, and PECO. However, you must remember that HEPA and activated carbon must be combined as neither is fully effective against all of the pollutants that weed smoke creates. Read our HEPA vs carbon filter to learn more about this.
While price shouldn’t be your only motivating factor when picking an air purifier, we understand that it matters. Both combination HEPA-activated carbon and Molekule air purifiers are more expensive than single-filtration air purifiers.
But beyond the initial investment, you also need to consider the maintenance cost associated with replacing the multiple filters at regular intervals throughout the year.
CADR is short for clean air delivery rate and determines how effectively an air purifier can filter the air within a specific timeframe. But CADR also refers to how compatible an air purifier is with a specific room capacity. CADR scores vary based on the pollutant being filtered. Because you’re focusing primarily on smoke, the highest CADR smoke score is 450. Note that there are no CADR scores for VOCs.
No one wants an air purifier that’s so noisy that it distracts from watching television or having a conversation. Most air purifiers feature multiple settings, allowing you to switch between fan speeds. Look for models that feature quiet modes with low-decibel outputs. These fans are one of the reasons some may feel that an air purifier can put out cold air when in use, even though the fans are not that strong.
Along the same lines, you want an air purifier that’s easy to use. While the control panel on the unit should be user-friendly, other options like a remote control or even a smartphone app can make adjusting the settings more convenient for you. Some notification features that signal to you when you have a very dirty air purifier filter can help remind you to keep up with your air purifier’s maintenance in a timely manner versus remembering to check it manually.
Because VOCs are one of the main pollutants created by weed smoke, an air purifier with a VOC sensor is a good idea. Although it’s not a requirement, having that sensor means that your air purifier will automatically detect when the air quality has dropped and instantly adjust the operation mode to remove pollutants from the air.