Difference Between Humidifier and Purifier

There are many different air-quality devices on the market today – humidifiers, dehumidifiers, purifiers, and others. Each of them is built for certain situations and can help combat specific problems. However, to know which one is the right tool for you, there are quite a few considerations to make first.

In this article, we’ll quickly go through the difference between humidifier and purifier devices. Before we get into the air purifier vs humidifier comparisons, however, we’ll need to explain what both devices do.

Air purifiers

Simply put, this category includes all devices that cycle the air in your home or workplace through a series of filters in order to purify it. Air purifiers suck in the air around them, filter it and release it back into the room. These devices typically don’t affect the humidity in the air nor do they add anything in it, they only filter the air they’ve sucked in.

Air purifiers are great for many people with respiratory problems as they clean the air from pollutants.


The main function of humidifiers is to add moisture to the air in the room. They typically do that by slowly evaporating water from a water tank, however, some give you the option to add things in the water such as essential oils, for example.

Humidifiers are useful in areas with an average indoor air humidity below the recommended percentage of 40% to 50% or below any other recommended percentage for a specific respiratory issue. This is useful because dry air has a lot of negative consequences and side effects such as the worsening of bronchitis, asthma, sinusitis, nosebleeds, as well as itchy skin, static electricity, and more.

Air purifier and humidifier – which to use?

Depending on your needs, both can be very useful devices. The simple criterion is that if you want to purify your air from pollutants that come from outside or from somewhere in your home – use an air purifier. And if you want to raise the relative air humidity in your home – use a humidifier.

Still, here are several more details to keep in mind:

  • Both air purifiers and humidifiers are safe to use around babies, kids, and pets.
  • Both are very efficient to use as they have very low power consumption.
  • Humidifiers and air purifiers can be used together as they don’t interfere with each other’s operation.
  • Air purifiers are typically noisier than humidifiers but that depends on the model and its operational volume.
  • Humidifiers’ tanks need to be refilled regularly which can be annoying for some people but most devices can work with a single refill for at least 24 hours. Air purifiers’ filters, on the other hand, typically last at least a year but that too depends on the model.
  • Price-wise air purifiers and humidifiers are relatively comparable but there are still differences between models and brands.

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