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Do Air Purifiers Help with Cooking Odors?

You know when you wake up in the morning and head to the kitchen to grab a cup of coffee only to get hit in the feels with last night’s fish dinner still hanging around? Makes you feel kind of gross, right? If you struggle with getting rid of cooking odors in your home then you’re probably here to see if an air purifier is a good solution, and may be wondering to yourself “Do air purifiers help with kitchen smells?”

With Americans spending 400 hours per year in their kitchens, the battle to keep it at bay is top of mind for many households. If left unkept, these cooking odors and chemical fumes can have a significant impact on your indoor air quality, which can lead to potential respiratory issues in the future. So, it’s vitally important to maintain clean air in your kitchen to prevent it.

The good news is there are ways you can reduce the amount of cooking odors in your home and improve indoor air quality at the same time.

In this article, we’ll jump into:

So let’s get cookin'! 

How Do Air Purifiers Work for Cooking Smells?

Air purifiers are a popular choice for those looking to reduce cooking smells in their home. But how exactly do they accomplish this?

According to a recent study on Volatile Compounds and Smell Chemicals (Odor and Aroma) of Food, food smells are caused by volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that occur during the processing, storage, harvesting, or animal feeding of the food you eat. Given that VOCs are considered chemical fumes and are invisible to the naked eye, it takes a specific type of air purifier to clean the air.

Air purifiers work to remove cooking odors by using a fan to pull in contaminants and a series of filters to clear them out of the air before pushing fresh, clean air back into the room. In your search for an air purifier for kitchen odor, you’ll come across a variety of different filter types. Each filter works differently to remove various types of contaminants, but some are better suited to removing cooking-related particles and VOCs than others.

  • HEPA filters are the most common type of air purifier filter and are great at removing microscopic physical particles like smoke and grease
  • Activated carbon filters work best at soaking in cooking-related odors and chemical fumes
  • UV-C light filters release negative ions into the air to neutralize cooking particles making them too heavy to remain airborne and fall to the floor to be cleaned later

In your search for an air purifier for cooking odors, it’s common to see models using multiple filter types to achieve the best results. An air purifier designed to remove cooking odors like the Austin Air Healthmate Plus uses two pre-filters to capture sticky cooking residue, a medical-grade HEPA filter to remove cooking smoke and grease particles, and 15 lbs of activated carbon to soak in cooking-related VOCs and smells to give you a total solution.

Person cooking in their kitchen with a frying pan

How Do Air Purifiers Eliminate Cooking Odors?

Cooking odors can be a real challenge, especially if you or someone in your home suffers from respiratory issues. Air purifiers are commonly recommended to help eliminate cooking odors and other airborne contaminants in your home. But will an air purifier help with food smells?

Yes, air purifiers are highly effective in reducing food smells and odors. They accomplish this by using a fan to pull air through a series of filters to continuously capture and remove cooking smells and VOCs. Giving you fresh, clean air to breathe.

Among the most commonly used filters in air purifiers designed for cooking odors are HEPA and activated carbon filters.

HEPA filters are designed to capture 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns. This makes them highly effective at trapping cooking-related particles, which typically range in size from 0.5 to 15 microns (depending on the type of cooking you’re doing). Once these odor-causing particles are trapped, they are removed from the air, resulting in cleaner and healthier air to breathe.

However, HEPA filters can’t remove odor-causing VOCs, so an activated carbon filter is a crucial addition to any air purifier. Activated carbon filters work by utilizing pounds of densely packed carbon to continuously absorb and neutralize odors and chemical VOCs, preventing them from sticking to surfaces in your home, as well as being inhaled. Without an activated carbon filter, only physical cooking particles like grease and smoke will be filtered out, leaving lingering odors and chemical fumes that not only stink but can potentially impact your health.

Good to know: HEPA and activated carbon filters aren’t limited to only capturing cooking-related odors. They’re also very effective at filtering out other common indoor air pollutants like dust and cigarette smoke. If you live with a smoker or are battling other types of smoke issues in your home, then check out our article "Do air purifiers help with smoke?" to see how an air purifier can help with that too.

Do Air Purifiers Help with Cooking Smells? Yes!

Air purifiers are a great solution for those looking to eliminate cooking smells and enhance the quality of their indoor air. By using a series of high-quality filters, air purifiers can quickly capture a variety of cooking-related odors and chemical fumes to have your home smell fresh again. While air purifiers may not be a silver bullet for all your cooking-related odors, they can play a huge role in helping to reduce their impact on your home’s air quality.

Ultimately the decision to purchase an air purifier is a personal one. But if your home suffers from heavy cooking odors and chemical fumes, an air purifier could make a significant difference in your quality of life. So, whether you're a professional chef or just want to put a good meal on the table for your family, it's worth considering how an air purifier could help you and your family breathe easier.

Want to purchase an air purifier for cooking odors, but not sure where to start? Check out our latest list of the best air purifiers for VOCs to find the perfect unit for you.

Still, have questions? Speak with our team of world-class air purifier experts at (877) 791-8083 or send us an email at and we’d be happy to help.

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