5 Air Purifiers That Capture Wildfire Smoke Particles and So Much More

Indoor air purifiers can clean the air in your home to eliminate dust, pollen, dander and particles from wildfire smoke. Here are the best ones available in Canada.

Air,purifier,a,living,room,,air,cleaner,removing,fine,dustImage: Shutterstock

Wildfires across Canada have taken over our newsfeeds—as well as the very air we breathe. Conditions outside periodically go from mildly campfire-like to disturbingly post-apocalyptic, and health authorities frequently suggest sensitive groups including seniors and pregnant people stay inside. So naturally, many of us have wondered how unhealthy the smoke is in our own homes, and if it’s time to get an indoor air purifier.

Air purifiers have been around for years, predominantly to offer relief to allergy sufferers. But they became more widely marketed during Covid, as concerns about in-home air quality and the spread of infectious diseases rose with each pandemic lockdown. Beyond reducing the prevalence of airborne viruses, a good quality purifier using a HEPA filtration system will capture 99.7 percent of airborne particles with a size of 0.3 microns (µm). The HEPA part is important—it stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air (filter), which means it’ll capture dust, pollen, dander and also the tiny particulate matter from wildfire smoke. When we inhale smoke, it can get into the bloodstream, travel to our organs and cause respiratory problems and increase our risk of heart attack, stroke and lung cancer.

In order to choose the right purifier for your space, it has to suit the size and function of the room. So, most homes will require more than one air purifier to fully optimize indoor air quality, but some people choose to place air purifiers only in their most-used spaces.

In open-concept main floors or condos, or rooms with high ceilings, looking for an air purifier with what’s called “effective reach” is most pressing. This means a larger and more powerful unit is required, and it’s measured by its CADr, or Clean Air Delivery Rate: the higher the CADr number, the faster air is cycled through the filter.

For closed-off bedrooms, quieter units with compact footprints make the most sense as they can run during sleeping hours. Multi-purpose models that can also cool or humidify while cleaning the air can improve sleep quality without adding appliance clutter to a small space.

If you have a gas stove and you’re considering an air purifier for the kitchen, an automated unit with continuous sensors and a carbon filter is a must. Like a hood fan, this will also aid in capturing the benzene a gas stove produces. (Gas stoves have come under criticism over the past few years after studies found ill health effects, especially for young children with respiratory issues.) You want the air purifier to kick into high gear when you are cooking and slide back into quiet mode when you are done.

Below, the best air purifiers available in Canada to deal with the smokey summers to come.

1 / 5


Mila Air Purifier

The Mila purifier has a clean, modern look and is extremely powerful for its size. It boasts a heavyweight carbon filter and impressive CADr, making it ideal for open floor plans up to 1,000 square feet and an appropriate condo option. For the most seamless purchase, consider ordering the brand’s twice-yearly filter subscription service, too. (The “Rookie Parent” is an affordable option for HEPA + Carbon, at $86.)

Mila Air Purifier, $440, milacares.com

2 / 5

Dyson Ph04

Dyson Air Purifier

If you need a product that can deliver double duty in a single space, this sleek Dyson model is a winner. Ideal for a large bedroom or nursery, it provides both a humidifier and an air purifier in the same unit. It’s truly a “set it and forget it” product: in auto mode it will adjust for ideal purification and humidity. For anyone also concerned about in-home irritants and off-gassing, it destroys formaldehyde released from building materials (like pressed plywood subfloors) with a catalytic filter—a great choice for homes that have recently undergone renovation.

Dyson Purifier Humidify+Cool Formaldehyde  (PH04), $1,200, dyson.ca

3 / 5

Levoit 600s

Levoit Air Purifier

Open-concept floor plans are the ideal match for this boxy, minimalist purifier. With this one, you can refresh the air five times an hour in a space up to 635 square feet, plus the machine operates quietly with a very intuitive touch screen. Levoit’s Vesync app also allows you to monitor and operate it remotely, with options for scheduling multiple units throughout the home. Bonus: The replacement filters from Levoit are inexpensive ($99) compared to other large-area models, making it a great budget option.

Levoit Core 600s Air Purifier, $460, amazon.ca

4 / 5

Blueaire 211

Blueair Air Purifier

The prize for prettiest air purifier of the bunch goes to Blueair, with its changeable (and washable!) fabric pre-filters and pleasing Swedish design. The 211+ will effectively refresh a large room (up to 550 square feet) every 12 minutes, with sensors that continuously read your air quality and adjust its filtration to suit. If you want an absolutely solid, no frills, fully automated unit, this one-button purifier will do the trick. But for the price, an app for monitoring or automating would be nice, so tech-lovers should move along to a different option.

Blueair Blue 211+ Auto Air Purifier, $460, canadiantire.ca

5 / 5

Honeywell Hpa104c

Honeywell Air Purifier

This compact unit is popular in work spaces and doctor’s offices. For medium-sized spaces (up to 155 square feet), the Honeywell performs effectively with minimal features and affordable filters that are easy to find in any big box store without pre-ordering online. It’s a utilitarian and affordable option great for individual bedrooms in a family home (where a single main-floor unit otherwise would not reach).

Honeywell HPA104C True HEPA Air Purifier, $160, Walmart Canada

Next: 4 Times in Your Life You Should Definitely Be Using an Air Purifier