Air Purifier vs. Humidifier – Difference and Comparison

These two devices may look identical, but their purpose is totally different. In this article, I will try to compare air purifier vs. humidifier even if these two devices are not really supposed to be compared. These devices are doing different things. 

Air Purifier vs Humidifier
Air Purifier vs. Humidifier

However, it is essential to know and understand the differences between them because if you don’t know them, you could buy a device that you don’t need. Because of that read through this article, and if in the end there are some questions or doubts you can contact me, and I will help you out.

What is an Air Purifier?

An air purifier is a device that filters the air. It removes pollution from the air and, in that way, helps you breathe clean, fresh air. Some air purifiers are better than others when talking about filtration. And some of them have many other options that make them even better at air purification. Today on the market, you can find many great air purifiers. Premium air purifiers with the latest technology and fancy features are expensive, but there are also many useful air purifiers on the budget.

How Does Air Purifier work?

As already said, the main job of an air purifier is to remove airborne particles and other pollutants from the air. This machine works by sucking air and pulling it through special filters that remove unwanted particles. In return, we get fresh, clean air. 

What is a Humidifier?

A humidifier is a totally different device. The primary purpose of a humidifier is to keep humidity at proper levels. In winter, when people are mostly inside, the air in the room is mostly dry. People use various heaters to heat their homes, which in return, drys air. Dry air is the number one cause of virus infections. If you want to stop viruses, you need to keep the room on a proper humidity level. A humidifier can also help against asthma and other respiratory problems that can be caused by dry air.

How Humidifier Work?

Humidifier work is to add moisture to the air. We have two types of air purifiers, cold mist, and warm mist. Cold mist uses cold water, which is released in the air by ultrasound waves or simply pushing the small droplets. Cold mist humidifiers use different technology to add moisture, but all of them work with cold water. 

Hot mist is a really simple humidifier that heats water, and in return, we get steam that is released in the air. You can probably create some type of hot mist humidifier on your own. All you need is water that is in the process of heating turned into steam. You can use a simple oven and just boil some water. However, that kind of do it yourself device can create too high levels of moisture, and in return, you will do more harm than good. We know that excessive moisture is good for bacteria to grow as well as mold. Because of that, I can highly recommend a humidifier that controls the humidity level in the room.

Differences Between Air Purifier and Humidifier

Now that we know what each of these devices does, we can look at their differences. By understanding the difference, you can quickly know what you exactly need. Do you need air filtration, or maybe humidity levels are the problem in your home. If you need to remove pollutants from the air, then there is no doubt that the air purifier is the device you need.

However, if dry air causes respiratory troubles like bronchitis or something else, you should consider getting a humidifier. My recommendation is to get both, especially if you have asthma or allergy problems. 

In the table below, you can see some more info about these devices:

# Air Purifier Humidifier
Purpose The use of special filters removes airborne particles from the air. Brings moisture to dry air and makes it less irritable.
Advantage Cleans air, useful to people who suffer from asthma and allergies. Useful to people who have asthma problems and any other respiratory problems caused by dry air.
Eliminates Dust, Pollen, Pet Dander, Bacteria, Mold Spores, Smoke, etc. Only Dry Air
Humidity Levels Unable to Change 40% – 60%

Which Product is Better for Your Needs

Which product is better for your needs will depend mostly on your needs. If you have a little baby, both of these devices are beneficial, and I can’t say which one you should pick. Or for patients with asthma problems or allergic reactions, both of these products are must-have. 

However, if you only have concerns about viruses and infections caused by dry air, then a humidifier is a better choice for you since, with a humidifier, you will keep humidity at the desired level. On the other hand, with an air purifier, you can breathe clean, fresh air filtered, and all pollutants removed. That fact is one huge reason to buy an air purifier. But to help you out I decided to make two lists for you:

Get Air Purifier If:

Get Humidifier If:

  • Air is dry
  • You want to add additional moisture to the air
  • You have concerns about respiratory problems like bronchitis or problems with sinuses

FAQ About Air Purifier and Humidifier

What’s Better; Air Purifier or Humidifier for Baby?

As already said above, I would use both. Both devices are beneficial, and both of them will help your baby in their own way. However, I would never leave air purifier or humidifier work when I am not present in the room. In other words, don’t leave these devices on during the night when you and baby sleep. This advice is just precaution because you never know what may happen with the device when you are sleeping in a different room.

What’s Better; Air Purifier or Humidifier for Allergies?

Since humidifiers don’t have the power to actually remove allergens from the air, I must say that a better solution is an air purifier. However, a humidifier may help you during the allergic reaction. 

What’s Better; Air Purifier or Humidifier for Asthma?

Asthma attacks are mostly triggered by pollution in the air. Cat hair, dust, pollen, or anything like that may trigger an asthma attack. Because of that, an air purifier is a better choice here as well. But just like with allergies, when you do get an asthma attack, it is better to stay in the room with proper humidity, which will help you breathe easier.

What’s Better; Air Purifier or Humidifier for Sinus Problems?

Sinus problems are caused by infections, which may be because of pollution, but mostly it is because of viruses. Since air purifiers are not really capable of removing all viruses from the room and only special ones have actual power of removing them, I will say that the better choice here is a humidifier. With a humidifier and proper humidity levels, your body will fight sinus infection easier.


If you read the above article carefully, you already have a clear idea of what exactly you need. Whatever device you choose to buy, I am sure it will work well. Both of them are beneficial and may not cause harm. However, if you have life-threatening conditions, I am suggesting to talk with your doctor if it is safe to use these devices. In case you have any questions about the air purifier or humidifier, don’t hesitate and ask us, we will gladly answer.

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