Air Purifier vs. Humidifier: Purpose, Types, and Benefits

The quality of the air you breathe affects your health, your mood, and even your productivity. That’s why air purifiers and humidifiers can make a world of difference in your life. But which one do you need, or do you, perhaps, need both?

This article will explore the difference between an air purifier and a humidifier and help you decide which one is right for you!

What Is the Purpose of Air Purifiers?

An air purifier can be a life-saver, especially if you suffer from allergies. It can remove harmful particles and allergens from the air, and improve your overall health.

Air purifiers work by drawing in air from your home and passing it through a series of filters. These filters trap allergens such as dust mites, pollen, and pet dander. Air purifiers can also remove smoke, mould spores, and other airborne particles.

Types of Air Purifiers

There are several types of air purifiers available on the market. Each of these does a good job of purifying the air, but since they don’t operate in the same manner, you might find one type more beneficial than the other. You may want to consider the size of your home, the type of filter, and the noise level.

1. HEPA filtration

Air purifiers with high-efficiency particulate absorbing filters are probably the most famous type of air purifier. This high-density filter effectively traps airborne contaminants: It was found to remove 99.97% of all particles in the air, even those as small as 0.3 microns in size.

If you or people in your household are sensitive to allergens such as dust, pet dander, smoke or other particulate matter, investing in a good air purifier with a HEPA filter could turn out to be nothing short of a life-changing decision.

2. Carbon filtration

Carbon filtration is another commonly used method for purifying the air. This type of filter uses activated carbon to trap gases, chemicals, odours, as well as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Since these chemicals are an inevitable byproduct of our lifestyle, it’s well worth investing in a good air purifier that’ll trap them and improve air quality in your home. Plus, it will also help your home smell fresh!

3. Negative ionization

If you are most worried about contaminants in the air, investing in an air purifier that operates using negative ionization technology might be the right choice. This type of air-cleaning technology emits ions into the air. Since these ions are negatively charged, they latch onto the contaminants in the air and weigh them down. From there, these particles are more easily caught by the air filters – or cleaned. The best part about it? It can remove ultrafine particles, even those that are only 0.01 microns in size.

4. Ultraviolet (UV) light

Now, if you’d like to go a step further and destroy all the airborne bacteria on their DNA level, you should go for an air purifier that operates based on UV light technology. This purifier cleans the air that goes through it by having UV lights zap microorganisms and other harmful particles. The air that exits the purifier is thus sterilized, which is important if you or anyone in your home struggle with allergies or are often down with something – especially if you have kids.

Finally, consider if you want to go with a portable purifier or a whole-house system. Portable solutions are typically cheaper and more effective per room. However, if you want a full-volume cleaner, installing a whole-house air purifier is probably a better idea.

What Is the Purpose of Humidifiers?

If you live in a dry climate, you may also want to consider investing in a humidifier. Humidifiers add moisture to the air, which can help combat the adverse effects of dry air, including respiratory issues such as allergies, asthma, and sinus infections. On top of that, humidifiers can help to prevent furniture from cracking and static electricity from building up.

Types of Humidifiers

Just like air purifiers, there are several types of humidifiers you can bring home with you. Some of the most common types are warm- or cool-mist and ultrasonic humidifiers.

1. Warm-mist humidifiers

This type of humidifier works by heating water and releasing the steam into the air. It can help to kill bacteria and other harmful airborne particles. However, as it uses a large amount of heat to produce steam, it can cause burns – something to keep in mind if you have kids or pets in your household.

2. Cool-mist humidifiers

Cool-mist humidifiers work by releasing a cool, fine mist into the air. This type of humidifier is less likely to cause burns if you get too close to it and is often quieter than warm-mist humidifiers, which makes it a better solution for a bedroom or kid’s room.

3. Ultrasonic humidifiers

Ultrasonic humidifiers use high-frequency vibrations to create a fine mist. This type of humidifier is often very quiet, making it a perfect choice for bedrooms where poor air moisture levels can have a heavy impact on the quality of sleep. This type can also be used with essential oils to release a pleasant scent in your home.

The Effect of Purifiers and Humidifiers on Your Health

Both an air purifier and a humidifier have the ability to improve the air quality in your home. We’ve established that the main difference between them is that air purifiers remove particles from the air, while humidifiers add moisture to it. Both have their health benefits, so let’s briefly discuss those, too.

Health Benefits of Air Purifiers

There are many health benefits associated with using an air purifier. The device can make all the difference in the allergy seasons. Air purifiers have been proved to not only prevent but also reduce symptoms of respiratory infections and asthma. They can sometimes even help you avoid other serious health conditions. Research has indicated that they can have an impact in lowering blood pressure, decreasing diabetes risk, and reducing your chances of catching viruses.

Air purifiers can also help to improve your overall quality of sleep by removing allergens and other particles that can irritate your respiratory system from the air.

Health Benefits of Humidifiers

Humidifiers also come with a number of health benefits, especially during dry air seasons, such as in winter or during hot summer days when air conditioning is on constantly. Because they add moisture to the air, humidifiers can help to relieve dry skin and nasal congestion.

With the right humidifier, you can also improve the quality of your sleep. Humidifiers, too, can also help to reduce the spread of viruses. This is because viruses are more likely to survive in dry environments.

So, Which One Is Right For You?

The answer to the “air humidifier vs. purifier” dilemma depends on several factors. First, you need to consider what your specific needs are. If you suffer from allergies or respiratory problems, then an air purifier is a good choice for you. However, if you live in a dry climate or have dry skin, then a humidifier would be the better option of the two.

Another factor to analyze is the size of your home. If you have a large home, you may need to purchase more than one air purifier or humidifier.

Finally, you need to take your budget into consideration. Air purifiers and humidifiers range in price from around $30 to $300. So, it’s important to find one that fits within your budget but still has all the necessary features.

Air Purifier vs. Humidifier – Conclusion

In terms of cost, air purifiers are generally more expensive than humidifiers. This is because they typically require more maintenance and replacement filters. In terms of effectiveness, air purifiers are better at removing particles from the air. However, humidifiers are more effective at relieving dry skin and nasal congestion. When it comes to noise levels, humidifiers tend to be quieter than air purifiers. This is because they don’t have any moving parts.

So, which one is better for you? The answer to this question depends on your specific needs. If you suffer from allergies or respiratory problems, then an air purifier is the best option for you. However, if you live in a dry climate or have dry skin, then a humidifier would be the better choice. Finally, since these two devices don’t tackle the same issues, you may discover that you need both.


Does the air purifier remove dust?

Yes, an air purifier can remove dust. In fact, they are specifically designed to remove small particles such as dust, pollen, and smoke from the air.

Where is the best place to put an air purifier?

The best place to put an air purifier is in the room where you spend the most time. This could be your bedroom, living room, or office. This also depends on whether or not you’re going with a whole-house system or a portable solution.

Is it OK to leave the air purifier on all night?

Yes, it’s perfectly safe to leave an air purifier on all night. In fact, this is often the best way to use an air purifier as it’ll have more time to work.

Can you use an air purifier with the windows open?

Yes, you can use an air purifier with the windows open, but there is the question of its effectiveness. If you leave your windows open, the air purifier will have to clean new air constantly – and it may not be as effective as you hope it to be.

Can an air purifier replace a humidifier?

No, an air purifier can’t replace a humidifier. This is because they serve two different purposes. Air purifiers remove particles from the air, while humidifiers add moisture to it. Depending on which issues you’re looking to solve by figuring out the humidifier vs. air purifier dilemma, one could be more suitable than the other.

Milica Milenkovic
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