Difference Between Air Purifier and Humidifier Explained

You cannot control the outdoor air, but this is not the case indoors. In your home, you can get an air purifier and protect yourself as well as the family members from harmful contaminants that the air contains.

Some people prefer air purifiers, while on the other hand there are people who prefer humidifiers. But do you know what is the difference between air purifier and humidifier?

Ask yourself! Which one would be better for you to have in your home for your baby or someone with asthma and allergies?

If you are confused about which one to go for, this article will help to understand their differences and how they work, and which one is the most appropriate for your home.Air Purifier vs Humidifier

Difference Between Air Purifier and Humidifier

Although both the purifiers help to improve indoor air, they work differently and provide different outcomes.

It’s worth mentioning that, there are some similarities between these two as well. For example, both of them are great for people with respiratory and sinus issues.

But, the ways they provide the relief aren’t the same. More or less, the ways how they work can be beneficial or harmful regarding your condition, and that’s where you need to make the wise decision.

General Differences

Let’s talk about the air purifiers first. The air purifiers cycle a room’s air with a series of filters. These filters primarily target particles, pollutants, allergens, and contaminants and knock them off to make the air quality healthier to breathe.

It ensures that the air is free from bacteria, allergens, viruses, and other harmful contaminants threatening to your health.

If there are too much dust and mist flying in your home, an air purifier would be the right to go after.

While on the other hand, a humidifier doesn’t remove anything from the air, rather it adds moisture into the air and leaves no room for issues like sinuses and respiratory.

During the winter season, the dry air causes many issues such as nosebleeds, chapped lips, skin irritation, dryness, continues a dry cough and many more. You can tackle the dry air inside the home with a humidifier that will make the air moist and relieve you from various dryness issues.

Regarding Their Functions

Both the machines improve the air quality. But they function differently from one another.

Air Purifiers

Air PurifierThe sole purpose of an air purifier is to remove various airborne contaminants from the air indoors.First, it traps contaminants like dust particles, allergens, bacteria, pet dander, mold spores, smoke odors, and other harmful contaminants and then it removes them from the air of your room.

When this machine runs, it sucks indoor air into the machine where there are series of filters, and HEPA is one of those filters. The filter is even able to capture tiny particles of 0.3 microns size and its efficiency of removing airborne contaminants is 99.99% and leaves no room for allergies, asthma, and many respiratory issues.

It only cleans and filters out the pollution from the room. There is no added moisture from an air purifier machine.


HumidifierWhen it comes to a humidifier, its main function is to add moisture into air indoors. How it does is, it pumps the water vapor into a room without making you notice it.

A humidifier machine requires water to add into its reservoir. Inside the reservoir, the water turns into a fine mist and expels into the air.

Such devices are used in dry areas as the dryness causes issues like dry skin, sinuses, nosebleeds, throat irritation, breathing problem, and many more.

Note that, if your room is already moist enough, using a humidifier will add more to it causing mold growth which you don’t want to happen to you for sure. Therefore, be sure to keep the moist level between 30% to 50%.

So, if the moist level is below 30%, you would need a humidifier for your home. However, if it’s above 50%, it will encourage dust mite reproductions, mold growth, and mildew.

How They Work

Air Purifiers can be categorized into 5 types according to their working methods.

Mechanical air purifiers come with mechanical filters that separate particular matter out. Some air purifiers work through an electrostatic method that traps the particles and then charges by high voltage wires. This type of purifiers can attract many allergens than others.

Ionic purifiers use tiny charged wire and attract potential contaminant particles. But they only attract few types of particles, and they are not efficient enough.

Some air purifiers use UV rays to kill bacteria and allergens when they enter into the machine. Also, it protects the machines from potential contamination.
The other type of air purification is the ozone generation which tackles more harmful allergens.

On the other hand, humidifiers work in 5 ways.

Evaporate humidifiers have fans for blowing air through a wet pad. The supplied air is loaded with moisture. Therefore, if the wet pad isn’t cleaned regularly, it will become a safe haven for bacteria.

Steam vaporizers work by boiling water and sending it to the air in the form of steam. The boiled water makes sure it kills all kind of bacteria and germs as well.

The ultrasonic mechanism uses high-frequency vibrations to break down water droplets and turn it into an extremely fine mist. As the mist doesn’t contain any live bacteria and molds, this mechanism is safer than others. But it has the tendency to trigger allergies in people living inside the room.

The working method of warm mist and steam is almost the same, but the warm mist as the name suggests, comes with a boiled form and releases warm mist in the air. This mechanism kills all germs and bacteria and is safe for children and older citizens.

Cool mist works by breaking down the water droplets and turning it into a cool mist. As the water isn’t boiled in this method, it contains germs and bacteria to some extent.

Some Commonly Asked Questions

Which one should I choose between a baby air purifier vs. humidifier?

It depends on where you live. If the area you live in is warm, and the environment contains a lot of dust and mist, you should go for an air purifier.

But if your living environment is cool and dry, you need to consider buying a humidifier for your room.

Air purifier vs humidifier for allergies?

As air purifiers deal with dust, pet dander, pollen, mold spores, and similar contaminants of the air which trigger allergies, an air purifier would be the best option to go with in this case.

Can you use an air purifier and humidifier in the same room?

Actually, there is no problem using both air purifier and humidifier in a room. An air purifier will clean the air pollutants and a humidifier will moist the dry air making it more comfortable to breathe and live in.

Final Words

Now, you know the difference between air purifier and humidifier. Both the air purifiers and humidifiers make indoor air clean and fresh from pollutants and dryness. Now just take a look at your living environment. When you have to choose one, consider the condition of your room. If it’s dry, then you need a humidifier. For warm and dusty indoor condition, an air purifier would be the best one to go for. Simple!

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