Fresh Air Finds: Best Air Purifiers to Counter Cooking Smells

No more smoky stir-fry.

Updated July 23, 2023

So, you've cooked up a storm in your kitchen and now the every corner of your living space smells like it? We know how it is. While we love those savory aromas when dinner's on the table, we'd rather they didn't linger on long after the last bite is eaten… and that's where air purifiers can be complete game changers.

We dig deep into the world of air purifiers, aggregating all that data to bring you an easy-to-understand guide. Rest assured, we've done our homework thoroughly and our guiding principle throughout has been trustworthiness and transparency.

Finding the perfect air purifier for cooking smells can be a bit of a labyrinth, given all the different models and specifications out there. But that's exactly what we're here to help you with! Remember, we're focusing on your needs— because at the end of the day, you are the one who's going to be using this product in your day-to-day life.

So, without further ado, let's dive right into what users are saying about the best air purifiers to help you freshen up your home and keep those stubborn cooking smells at bay!

Our Top 5 Air Purifier List for Cooking Odors

1. Best Overall Coway AP-1512HH Air Purifier

First on our list is the Coway AP-1512HH, which has received rave reviews from its users, including ourselves, for its exceptional performance in eliminating cooking odors in minutes. This purifier is designed to effectively remove all types of odors, including those caused by cooking, from your living space. With its powerful performance and advanced features, it ensures that you can enjoy a clean and fresh environment even after cooking your favorite meals.

Top Contender

Our top choice for those seeking outstanding performance, efficiency, and sleek design to clear the air of unwanted cooking odors and more.

We love this air purifier's four-stage filtration system, which includes a pre-filter, True HEPA filter, activated carbon filter, and Vital Ionizer. Together, these filters capture and neutralize a wide range of irritants, allergens, and odors, leaving your indoor air fresh and clean. With a coverage area of up to 361 square feet, the AP-1512HH is suitable for kitchens, living rooms, or even small apartments. Its sleek design and energy-efficient operation make it a popular choice also among hydroponics enthusiasts. But let's not stop there, let's move on to the next air purifier on the list.


  • Highly effective in removing cooking odors and other airborne particles
  • Sleek and modern design that blends well with any decor
  • Energy-efficient operation
  • Intuitive air quality indicator for easy monitoring
  • Four-stage filtration system ensures comprehensive purification


  • Replacement filters can be expensive compared to some other air purifiers on the market
  • Some users report that the ionizer feature may produce a slight ozone smell

2. Best Six-Stage RabbitAir MinusA2 Air Purifier

Next, we have the RabbitAir MinusA2, a high-end air purifier that not only offers exceptional performance but also adds a touch of style to your space. We love how this purifier features a six-stage filtration system, including a pre-filter, medium-filter, BioGS HEPA filter, custom filter, charcoal-based activated carbon filter, and negative ion generator. The custom filter allows you to choose between odor elimination or toxin absorption.

Great Coverage

Just as good as the top pick but for those with smaller storage volume needs.

The MinusA2 operates quietly, making it suitable also for open kitchens or areas where noise might be an issue. It emits only 20.8 decibels at its lowest fan speed. With a coverage area of up to 815 square feet, it's well-suited for kitchens or open-concept living spaces. Users have praised this purifier's customizable filtration options and its ability to effectively eliminate cooking odors.

The RabbitAir MinusA2 air purifier offers a variety of customizable features, including a choice of four different filters, sleep mode, and a variety of fan speeds. The included remote control makes it easy to adjust the air purifier settings to fit your needs.


  • Six-stage filtration system allows for customizable purification
  • Whisper-quiet operation for undisturbed peace
  • Stylish and wall-mountable design
  • Energy-efficient technology
  • Smart features like air quality monitoring and auto mode


  • Higher price point compared to other air purifiers
  • The auto-detection system may need to be adjusted manually in some cases

3. Best Five-Stage - Winix HR900 HEPA Air Purifier

The Winix HR900 is designed with pets in mind, but it's equally effective in reducing cooking odors. It has a 5-stage True HEPA filtration system, which includes a pre-filter, a washable mesh filter, an advanced odor control carbon filter, a True HEPA filter, and PlasmaWave technology. This system aims to provide thorough air filtration and a reduction of various particles, including those from cooking odors.

Specifically, the Winix HR900 is designed with a pet-centric HEPA filter, and while it is intended to address pet-related concerns, it can also help capture fine particles that are often associated with cooking odors.


Remove cooking odors as well as embrace a breath of fresh air for your beloved pets.

The PlasmaWave technology is another feature of the Winix HR900. This technology works on a molecular level to break down pollutants without producing harmful ozone. However, it is essential for users to understand that they should carefully assess their specific situation and preferences when deciding whether this technology would sufficiently cater to their needs.

In addition, the Winix HR900 is equipped with Smart Sensors and Auto Mode, which monitor air quality and adjust the fan speed accordingly. While this feature might offer convenience to some users in maintaining air quality and odor reduction, keep in mind that user experiences may vary based on room size or usage conditions.

What We Like:

  • 5-stage True HEPA Filtration
  • Pet-centric design to handle extra particles
  • Smart Sensors with Auto Mode
  • Quite operation

What We Don't Like:

  • Quite bulky
  • Limited room size

4. Best Three-Stage - Winix 5500-2 HEPA Air Purifier

Both the Winix HR900 and the Winix 5500-2 are equipped with True HEPA filtration, advanced odor control carbon filters, and PlasmaWave technology. While they share these features, they cater to different audiences. The HR900 is specifically designed for homes with pets, but it's still efficient in removing cooking odors in rooms up to 300 sq. ft. while Winix 5500-2 stands out from the HR900 with its 360 sq. ft. floor area capacity.


As good as its counterpart HR900 with one less filtration stage, if you don't have a pet at home.

In terms of performance, the Winix 5500-2 has a Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) of 243 for dust, 246 for pollen, and 232 for smoke. This indicates its efficiency in purifying the air and removing cooking odors.

The unit offers multiple fan speeds to choose from, allowing you to customize the purification process depending on the intensity of cooking odors. It also has a sleep mode, which operates silently while you sleep, ensuring a peaceful environment.

One aspect worth noting is that some find the LED lights on the unit quite intense, especially in a dark environment. However, this can be easily addressed by covering the lights with tape or a small piece of cardboard.

What We Like:

  • Affordable option with reliable performance
  • Sleep mode for quiet operation during the night
  • Auto mode adjusts fan speed based on air quality
  • Energy Star certified for energy efficiency
  • Washable pre-filter extends the lifespan of other filters

What We Don't Like:

  • Some find the unit a little bit noisy on higher fan settings
  • Omission of wall-mounted caddy for remote
  • The LED lights cannot be turned off completely, even in Auto mode or Sleep mode

5. Best for Homes with Pets Germ Guardian AC4300

The Germ Guardian Air Purifier is quite effective when it comes to neutralizing odors, making it a great choice for eliminating cooking odors.

Its main feature is the proprietary H13 Pet HEPA Filter, which efficiently captures pet dander, dust, allergens, smoke particles, and pollen. The filter's design also allows it to remove cooking odors, providing a fresh and clean environment within your home.


Specifically designed for homes with pets with the Pet H13 HEPA Filter.

Additionally, the AC4300 is equipped with a UV-C Light that helps eliminate germs, bacteria, and viruses. This is a potential bonus for kitchen environments where air can get contaminated with different bacteria or germs from the cooking process.

The Germ Guardian Air Purifier is also designed to tackle molds, another common issue in kitchens. If you cook a lot, humidity can increase and molds can form, but with this air purifier, you can control and eliminate them.

The air purifier has a free-standing and vertical design, allowing it to be placed in small spaces. It stands 22 inches tall, which is fairly compact for the amount of purification it provides. It also comes in a classic black color making it fit to blend in with any decor.

Despite its features and benefits, this air purifier does come with a recommendation of careful use when it comes to UV-C function. We advise not to keep the UV-C Light on continuously in a small closed space, as it may create a buildup of ozone which could possibly lead to some discomfort.

What We Like:

  • Germ-fighting UV-C light helps eliminate germs and viruses
  • Pays off best for households with pets
  • Filter replacement indicator for convenient maintenance
  • It occupies minumum space

What We Don't Like:

  • The use of the UV-C Light function requires caution
  • Some find it quite noisy when operating at higher settings

6. Best for Minimalists LEVOIT Core 300 Air Purifier

Lastly, we have the budget-friendly air purifier that doesn't compromise on performance. The LEVOIT Core 300 is designed to address various air quality issues, including allergens, pet hair, and dust in indoor spaces. While not explicitly marketed for cooking odors, we think, its ability to handle pet hair and other allergens may make it a suitable option for users who require improved air quality, especially in the kitchen area. The product has an effective range that can cover up to 219 sq. ft. of space, which means it is suitable for larger rooms, such as living areas and kitchens.

Simple and Mighty

A compact, inexpensive solution designed to enhance your space and your breathing.

We think the Nictemaw Mini Fridge, with its small but might capacity and versatile functionality as a cooler and warmer, is a great option for users who need ample storage for their food, beverages, or even skincare products. While there may be limited information available on its long-term durability and customer support, the positive reviews and features make it a promising choice.

What We Like:

  • Quiet, even when set at higher speeds
  • Suitable for moderately large rooms or open-concept spaces
  • Affordable price point
  • Compact in size, saving space and maximizing living areas

What We Don't Like:

  • Lack of smart connectivity features

What to Consider in an Air Purifier for Tackling Cooking Odors

We've all experienced it - the lingering smell of dinner that overstays its welcome. However not all air purifiers are created equal. Here we incorporated key factors into the guide on choosing the right air purifier to tackle those pesky kitchen odors:

a lady with a relief of cooking-odor-free living space when using an air purifier

Look at the Filtration System

The type of filtration system an air purifier uses is key. You'll want to look for purifiers that feature Activated Carbon Filters. Carbon is a porous substance that's terrific at trapping odors - think of it as a sponge soaking up unwanted smells. In addition, a True HEPA filter is an added bonus. These HEPA filters are great at removing tiny particles from the air, therefore reducing allergens.

Room Size Matters

When choosing an air purifier, it's essential to take the size of your room into account. Air purifiers are designed to clean the air in specific room sizes to maintain optimal effectiveness. If your purifier is too small for a big kitchen, it might not perform as effectively. And if it's too large for a small space, you might be overspending needlessly.

Range of Fan Speeds

Look for an air purifier that has multiple fan speeds. This gives you the flexibility to turn the fan up high when tackling strong odors following a cooking spree and down low for ongoing, routine air purification.

Consider Noise Levels

If your kitchen and living space are open-plan, you'll want to take the noise level of the purifier into account. The high fan speeds can sometimes be a trifle noisy. Check the noise level measures in decibels (dB) in product descriptions, or look for reviews from real customers who may comment on noise levels.

Price and Running Costs

Consider both the upfront purchase price as well as ongoing costs, which include filter replacements and electricity usage. Make sure to check the recommended filter replacement interval and the cost of replacement filters.

Contemplate Extra Features

Many air purifiers offer a range of additional functions or features. For example, an auto mode that adjusts the fan speed based on the quality of the air can be very handy and help to conserve energy when high power isn't needed.


Deciding on the best air purifier to keep those pesky cooking odors at bay can make a huge difference to your home environment. Based on our analysis of countless user tries and experiences of other users, we've narrowed down two standout choices.

The best overall air purifier comes to us as the Coway AP-1512HH. This sleek wonder is more than just its good looks. Users often praise its compact size - it's small and stylish enough to blend inconspicuously like a modern sculpture on your kitchen countertop or living room corner. But don't let that fool you - when it comes to performance, it punches far above its weight. Reviewers are particularly impressed with its nifty features like an air quality indicator, which changes color based on the air quality in your space. An eco mode also helps conserve energy when the air's clean for 30 minutes.

On the other hand, if you share your home with pets along with dealing with cooking odors, the Winix HR900 HEPA Air Purifier will be your hero. Crowned as best five-stage pick, this little powerhouse leaves no stone unturned when it comes to purifying your air. Users have complimented its ability to serve dual-purpose: clearing strong cooking aromas and handling pet dander with ease. And of course, the cherry on top is its relatively quiet operation, even at higher fan speeds. You won't need to raise your voice or TV volume over its gentle hum.

We hope it helps guide you to the air purifier that'll make your nose, wallet, and home a little happier — no more lingering kitchen odors or pet smells. Remember, your unique needs matter, and the choice that's right for you might differ based on those needs. Good luck, and here's to fresher, cleaner air!

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About the author 

Dianne Centeno

Dianne is the editor-in-chief and also one of the main writers of Use&Cook. She has an endless curiosity for new kitchen ideas and products which keeps her motivated. Her technical background is also the key to make complex kitchen issues easier with the right set of cooking tools.

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