What’s the Difference Between an Air Purifier and a Humidifier?

Many people ask “What’s the difference between an air purifier and a humidifier?”. Air purifiers and humidifiers are devices that improve air quality. But they work in different ways and serve different purposes, depending on your needs.

Not many know that there’s a difference between an air purifier and a humidifier. If you’ve ever been in doubt, this is your opportunity to learn the difference.

Sit tight and keep reading!

What’s The Difference Between an Air Purifier and a Humidifier?

Vornado Evap40 Evaporative Humidifier
Vornado Evap40 Evaporative Humidifier (Image Source: Amazon.com)

First of all, let me tell you what is a humidifier and what is an air purifier.

A humidifier is a device that increases the humidity in the room, which can help reduce static electricity, relieve dry skin, and ease respiratory problems.

Some people find that they suffer from allergies or asthma more when the air is dry. Thankfully, a humidifier can help to alleviate those symptoms.

There are several types of humidifiers, including the evaporative and ultrasonic models. Some examples of evaporative humidifiers are Vornado Evap40, Levoit LV600HH, and Honeywell HEV320B. On the other hand, some high-quality ultrasonic humidifiers include AquaOasis AO-101, Everlasting Comfort Humidifier, and Levoit LV600S.

An air purifier is a device that cleans the air by removing pollutants, including dust, smoke, and pet dander.

Air purifiers come in several different types, including electrostatic air cleaners, ionic air purifiers, HEPA air purifiers, UV air purifiers, and so on. Nowadays, the most commonly used model is the HEPA air purifier such as Levoit Core 300, Hathaspace HSP001, and Bissell Air220.

==> Click Here to Read My Full Review of Levoit Core 300 Air Purifier <==

==> Click Here to Read My Full Review of Hathaspace HSP001 Air Purifier <==

==> Click Here to Read My Full Review of Bissell Air220 Air Purifier <==

How Does a Humidifier Work? 

Levoit Core 300 Air Purifier
Levoit Core 300 Air Purifier (Image Source: Amazon.com)

A humidifier tends to increase the humidity in the air by adding water vapor. The most common type of humidifier is an evaporative humidifier, usually, it is a cool-mist humidifier; it does not heat water to create humidity. Instead, it uses a wick to absorb water from a reservoir and circulates humidity in the air via its fan. These types of humidifiers are commonly found in homes having pets and children.

On the other hand, ultrasonic humidifiers create a fine mist by vibrating water droplets at a high frequency, and steam vaporizers heat water until it turns to steam. The downside is that they can cause burns because they run hot. Hence, it’s advisable to stay away from them.

Furthermore, the vibration of an ultrasonic humidifier is quieter when compared to the fan of an evaporative humidifier. These units are also very compact. But evaporative humidifiers remain the safest option, especially in homes that have pets and children.

How Does an Air Purifier Work? 

On the other hand, air purifiers work ideally by drawing in air and passing it through a filter. It comprises a fan and filter, which works by pulling air from the room so that it can pass through the filter.

The filter then traps air-borne pollutants, such as dust, pollen, and smoke, before releasing clean air back into the room. Bear in mind
that these filters have various levels, i.e., pre-filter, activated carbon filter, HEPA filter, etc. The air from the room will always have to pass through each level to be certified clean.

Overall, high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters remain the most common type of filter; since they can trap contaminants as small as 0.3 microns.

Some air purifiers also use ultraviolet light or ozone generators to kill bacteria and viruses. However, it’s always ideal to choose units that come with HEPA filters since absorbing ozone which is created by UV light and generators can be dangerous to health according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of United States.

What Are the Benefits of Using a Humidifier and an Air Purifier? 

Humidifiers can help to reduce static electricity, relieve dry skin, and ease respiratory problems. In dry climates, humidifiers can also help to prevent furniture from cracking or splitting. And reduce the build-up of mold and mildew in many homes.

On the other hand, air purifiers can remove airborne pollutants, including dust, smoke, and pet dander.

Anyone who suffers from weak immune systems or respiratory conditions like asthma will find air purifiers useful. Since air purifiers can help reduce the spread of airborne diseases that trigger some of these anomalies.

The overall benefit of both humidifiers and air purifiers is that they make the air in homes, offices, etc., much safer to breathe.

Are There Any Risks Associated with a Humidifier and an Air Purifier?


If you don’t clean your humidifier regularly in order to maintain its efficiency, the humidity in your room will be too high or low while using your humidifier. It can cause difficulty in breathing and worsen some allergy symptoms.

To contain this, it is necessary to clean your humidifier regularly to prevent the build-up of bacteria and mold inside your humidifier.

On the other hand, some air purifiers come with ozone generators or UV light functions that release ozone gas into the air, which can be harmful to the lungs.

 Therefore, it is essential to use an ozone-free air purifier if you are concerned about the risks associated with ozone exposure.

How to Use a Humidifier Safely?

It is vital to use a humidifier safely to maintain the humidity, avoid the risks of mold growth, bacteria build-up in your space, and any health risks.

Here are a few tips for using a humidifier safely:

  • Clean your humidifier regularly to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria inside your humidifier and maintain its efficiency.
  • Empty the water reservoir after each use and allow the humidifier to dry completely.
  • Do not use distilled water in your humidifier, as this can lead to mineral build-up inside the humidifier.
  • Use a hygrometer to monitor the humidity in the room and make sure it does not exceed 50%. According to EPA, the ideal indoor humidity is between 30% and 50% (Maximum 60%).
  • If you are using an ultrasonic humidifier, keep the water level in the reservoir below the maximum line.
  • Do not place a humidifier near a heat source, as this can cause the humidity to increase.

How to Use an Air Purifier Safely?

On the other hand, to use an air purifier safely, at the very least, you should choose an air purifier that has a HEPA filter. And a certification from the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), the organization that oversees Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) testing for air purifier units.

HEPA Filters List

You should also follow the manufacturer’s instructions for operating the air purifier.

Here are some other tips for using an air purifier safely:

  • If you have asthma or another respiratory illness, consult your doctor before using an air purifier.
  • Change the filter on your air purifier regularly (at least 6 months intervals) to ensure that it is working properly.
  • Operate your air purifier in “Auto” mode so that it will adjust its settings based on the level of pollution in the room.
  • Keep children and pets away from the air purifier when it is running.
  • Do not use an air purifier with an ozone generator, especially if you are pregnant or have asthma.

Air Purifier vs Humidifier: Which One is Right for Me?

The best way to decide which device is right for you is to consider your needs and preferences. If you suffer from respiratory problems caused by dry climate or seasonal allergies, a humidifier may help to ease your symptoms.

If you are bothered by dust or other pollutants in the air, an air purifier may be a better choice. Ultimately, the decision depends on what you need in a device.

Can You Use a Humidifier and an Air Purifier at the Same Time?

Yes, you can use a humidifier and an air purifier at the same time in the same room. In fact, there are some models that combine air purification and humidification functions such as Afloia 2-in-1 Miro Pro, Sharp KC850U, and Turonic PH950.

They perform separate functions; while one removes pollutants from the air, the other releases moisture into the air.

Conclusion – Get The Answer of What’s the Difference Between an Air Purifier and a Humidifier?

what's the difference between an air purifier and a humidifierNow that you know the difference between an air purifier and a humidifier, here’s a quick recap: An air purifier cleans the air by removing pollutants. Meanwhile, a humidifier increases the humidity in the air.

Air purifiers are also helpful for people who are sensitive to smoke or dust. For example, if you have allergies, asthma, or other respiratory problems, an air purifier can help to improve your breathing.

On the other hand, if you live in a dry climate region, a humidifier can increase the indoor humidity and help to reduce the number of colds and flu cases you experience.

I hope knowing the difference between these two devices can help you decide which one is right for you.

…So, what’s the difference between an air purifier and a humidifier? I believe you get the answers now. If you have any questions about the difference between an air purifier and a humidifier, let me know in the comments below. I will be more than happy to help you out. Thanks a lot.

Leave a Comment