Humidifier vs. Air Purifier: A Comparison

It is essential to ensure that the air in your home or office is clean and breathable. Clean air is immensely beneficial to keeping yourself and the other occupants of the space healthy.

Clean air can maintain lung health, sinus health and even improve the overall wellbeing. For this reason, it is a good idea to invest in an air purifier and an air humidifier. While both of these devices can improve air quality, the actual functions of each differ. As such, it is a good idea to compare humidifier vs air purifier.


The primary function of a humidifier is to increase the humidity levels of indoor air. This is done by adding water vapor or water droplets to the environment. By increasing the humidity, the harmful effects of dry air can be avoided.

Dry air occurs in hot, arid climates and during the winter season. This can cause quite a few health issues including chapped skin. Dry air can also compound existing respiratory troubles. Apart from health issues, dry air can also cause wood to crack. It can also affect paper by causing it to warp. It increases the potential of static electricity which can damage electronic items.

By increasing the humidity levels of the environment, all of these issues can be avoided. In terms of health, it can reduce cough and dry skin. It can also provide relief to asthma patients by decreasing the intensity of attacks.

Do You Need a Humidifier?

A humidifier is exactly what you need if you or an occupant of your home suffers from one or more of the conditions listed below. Of course, if you are having real trouble seeking medical attention is always the safest route. Many people that suffer from eczema use humidifiers to supplement the advice and directions their doctor gives them. The same thing goes for sore throats. No amount of humidity will cure you of strep throat. Properly humidified air can only make your throat feel better.

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Air Purifiers

Unlike humidifiers, these devices are used for getting rid of contaminants such as dust from the air. Air purifiers are extremely beneficial for people who suffer from asthma or allergies. In fact, doctors and healthcare professionals often recommend patients to use air purifiers to decrease the frequency and intensity of those conditions

Both asthma and allergies are the result of airborne particles. As such, the removal of these particulates can provide considerable relief to the patients. Some of these particulates can pollutants and contaminants that are dangerous for those patients. An air purifier can redirect the air in a room to pass through filters with can capture the particulates and remove them from the room.

Air purifiers can also have another benefit. They can clear a room of smoke, pet dander and unwanted odors. Smoke, as caused by cigarettes, can result in the formation of an undesirable smell in the room. Some purifiers are capable of getting rid of the smell so that people can breathe more easily inside the room. The dangerous chemicals in the smoke can also be eliminated.

However, air purifiers need to more maintenance and cleaning as compared to humidifiers. Frequent cleaning is essential to keeping the purifier functioning efficiently. Additionally, these devices produce a considerable amount of ions. Most purifiers are effective at only one of their functions. They can either clear out dust effectively or eliminate the smells. Only a few can do both efficiently.

Do You Need an Air Purifier?

Quite a few situations exist for which an air purifier can be very helpful. We list a few of them below.

Please be aware that some people are very sensitive to dust mites. It may be impossible to reduce the number of dust mites enough to eliminate symptoms of a dust mite allergy.

  • Your room has smells
  • Allergy flare-ups
  • You have recently got your room painted, varnished or disinfected
  • The air in your home is stale or stuffy
  • You need to get rid of cooking smells in a hurry
  • There is a dust mite problem
  • You or one of your home’s occupants has a severe chest condition like COPD or emphysema
  • Pet hair floats in the air

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In the case of paints, disinfectants and varnishes, the products tend to contain toxic particles and volatile organic compounds. These can be quite dangerous. As such, you need to make sure that you are getting an air purifier which is designed to eliminate these particulates from the air.

In the case of serious chest conditions, you need to ensure that the air purifier is capable of getting rid of smoke, pollen and dust. These particulates can increase the symptoms and problems of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and more.

The Choice

Ultimately, both of these devices have their own limitations. Both of them require cleaning and maintenance on a regular basis. There are quite a few types of humidifiers and air purifiers in the market. The choice will ultimately depend on your specific requirements and aims.

You may even contact a healthcare professional to advice you on the kind of device that you require. The conditions of your home can also affect your choice. In some cases, your existing medical conditions will also affect your selection between humidifier vs air purifier.

Both humidifiers and air purifiers are beneficial in ensuring that the air you breathe inside your home is of a high quality. As such, it is a good idea to research all the options open to you thoroughly before you make your choice. A little effort now can help you considerably in the long run.

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