Is Air Purifier And Humidifier The Same?

Last updated on Apr 19, 2022 FEATURED
Note: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, we only earn from qualifying purchases!

Indoor air quality is a major concern for most households. This has prompted them to install devices that can help improve the different aspects of air quality. Some have settled with air purifiers and others with humidifiers. Interestingly, some people confuse these two units, with some of them using the devices interchangeably. This has led to consumers asking themselves whether air purifiers and humidifiers are the same.

If you also find yourself confused with these units, we are here to help you. In this article, we explain in detail how these units relate. We hope by the time you finish reading the article, you will no longer be confused with air purifiers and humidifiers.

Is An Air Purifier And Humidifier The Same?

No, air purifiers and Humidifiers are not the same. These are designed for different roles and yield varying benefits. Notably, their varying roles and benefits are what make them different. Below, we highlight what each unit does, and its benefits.

What Does An Air Purifier Do?

Image showing what air purifier does
How Air Purifier Works

To help you clearly understand this, let us first discuss the roles of air purifiers. The main purpose of air purifiers is to remove common household air pollutants. These use various types of filters depending on the unit. Indeed, these filters remove common indoor impurities. Some of these may include odors, molds, dust, dander, and other allergens of up to 0.3 microns in size.

When you switch on your air purifier, it starts to pull polluted air toward the filters. Additionally, this polluted air is passed through various filters depending on the air purifier model. These filters remove impurities and the clean air is pushed back into circulation. Some of the most common filters in air purifiers include pre-filters, HEPA filters, and activated carbon filters. Each of these filters serve different purposes during air purification.

In general, air purifiers are designed to deal with air pollution and not humidity.

Benefits of Air Purifiers

  • Relieves Asthma Symptoms

People with asthma are easily irritated by most indoor pollutants. Some of these pollutants include dust mites, pollen, dust, and pet dander. These irritate the airways, which usually triggers an attack or worsens asthma. Air purifiers can help with this problem as they remove these pollutants from the air. Certainly, this helps asthma patients get relief and breathe better.

  • Reduce Unpleasant Odors

If your room or house is filled with unpleasant odors, air purifiers can help with that. Air purifiers can neutralize odors to improve your indoor air quality. Therefore, when cooking or cleaning, air purifiers can remove any resulting odors.

  • Improves Sleep

It is difficult to sleep in rooms filled with lots of airborne pollutants. These can make you so uncomfortable as they trigger allergies, dry eyes, and itchy skin. Air purifiers can remove such impurities to make you comfortable and sleep better.

  • Reduce Allergies

Air purifiers can help prevent or alleviate indoor allergies. Air purifiers can remove pollen, dust, dander, and other indoor allergens. Certainly, this will help limit your exposure to these allergens, which is good to alleviate allergies.

What Do Humidifiers Do?

Now that you understand the roles of air purifiers, lets get started with humidifiers. Unlike air purifiers, humidifiers mainly deal with humidity. When the relative humidity levels in your house drop you can use humidifiers.

Humidifiers mainly come in three different types. These include ultrasonic, cool mist, and warm mist. Although these types use different mechanisms, they all yield similar results.

As discussed above, humidifiers evaporate the water in their tanks to increase humidity levels.

Benefits of Humidifiers

  • Prevent Dry Skin

Humidifiers can help you prevent dry skin conditions. According to WebMD low humidity levels can lead to dry and cracked skin. This condition can make you so uncomfortable to an extent of failing to sleep. Fortunately, a humidifier can help prevent or alleviate dry skin conditions. Ultimately, this can help you become comfortable, especially during sleep.

  • Can Help Fight Colds and Flu

Humidifiers can help stop the spread of flu and viruses. Flu and other viruses tend to thrive under dry air conditions. Certainly, by increasing your indoor humidity levels, you reduce the survival and transmission rates of these viruses. Humidifiers can help maintain humidity levels in the range of 30-50, which is good to curb the spread of colds and flu.

  • Improve Breathe

Image showing a woman breathing comfortably
Woman Breathing In Clean Air

Humidifiers can help improve breathing, especially for those with asthma and sinuses. Dry air can significantly affect the nasal membrane. Therefore making breathing difficult for most people, especially those battling respiratory diseases. However, humidifiers add soothing moisture, which loosens up the nasal membrane. Ultimately, this helps prevent difficult breathing or restore comfortable breathing.

Summary Of The Differences Between Air Purifiers And Humidifiers

DifferencesAir PurifierHumidifier
RoleRemoves airborne pollutantsIncreases humidity levels
How they workUses a fan to pull air and pass it through the filtersTurns water into small droplets, and releases them into the air as moisture.
BenefitsPrevent allergens, improves sleep, and neutralizes odorsPrevents and alleviates effects of dry air
Time to be usedWhen there is air pollutionWhen there are low humidity levels

Which Is Better Air Purifier Or Humidifier

Image comparing air purifier and humidifier
Which one is Better

The answer is both of them are good. Since they are different, they are all better in different conditions. Generally, each unit can be better depending on what you want and the current air quality. Let us highlight some conditions, which make air purifiers and humidifiers needed or necessary. 

Air Purifiers

  • Neutralizing odors
  • Reducing airborne allergens
  • Relieving asthma symptoms
  • Removing smoke
  • Improving breathing


Humidifiers are also better if you want to;

  • Moisturize the air
  • Alleviate nosebleeds
  • Improve sinuses
  • Prevent snoring
  • Limit the spread of flu and other viruses
  • Deal with any issue caused by dry air

When Can I Use An Air Purifier Or A Humidifier

In most cases, you may not need to use both an air purifier and a humidifier. But you can choose either of them depending on the air quality in your home or office. As shown above, each of these units has different areas where they are applicable.

For instance, if your room is filled with allergens such as odors, dust, and dust mites, you can consider using an air purifier.

However, in periods characterized by low humidity levels you can use a humidifier. This can help mitigate the effects of dry air.

Can I Use Both Air Purifier And A Humidifier At The Same Time

Yes, you can use an air purifier and a humidifier at the same time. As discussed above, these units perform different roles with different benefits. So, if your room has low humidity and habors allergens you can use both of them. For this reason, you can use both units to improve the air quality in your home or office. 

Take an example, in winter the air tends to be dry. Besides, many people use wood stoves to warm themselves. Typically, this leaves the air dry with smoke and odors. Therefore, in such a scenario you may have to use both an air purifier and a humidifier. 

However, you ensure that there is enough space between these two units. This helps minimize the amount of moisture directly entering the air purifier. Such cases may damage HEPA filters as they can get clogged.

In fact, due to technological advancements, you can now get an air purifier with a humidifier combo. This is a 2-in-1 unit that can be used depending on your prevailing indoor air quality needs.


In conclusion, an air purifier and humidifier are not the same. People should not confuse them and their intended roles. These units perform different roles as highlighted above.  Air purifiers mainly remove airborne pollutants, while humidifiers add moisture into the air. This means they cannot affect each other. Notably though, you can use these units in the same room to improve your overall air quality.

Featured Posts

Latest Posts