Air purifier Vs. Humidifier: Which One Should You Pick?

Are you confused over what you should pick between an air purifier and a humidifier?

Well, both devices are designed for improving the indoor air quality in your home or office. However, they differ in their underlying functionality and provide unique benefits.

You need to understand the differences between an air purifier and a humidifier to use them effectively to address specific issues. You can use both these devices for treating the symptoms of allergies, dry air, or respiratory disorders.

While the air purifier primarily deals with capturing the airborne pollutants and blowing out the clean air, the humidifier increases moisture into the air.

This article will discuss the major differences between an air purifier and a humidifier, how these impact your health, and whether you should use them together in the same room.

How are an Air purifier and a Humidifier different from each other?

An air purifier is engineered to remove the air pollutants from the air and blow out filtered air.

It comprises a fan and a set of multiple filters. The filters may employ different filtration technologies like HEPA filters, ionizers, or PECO technology.

On the other hand, a humidifier adds moisture to the air in various ways, including evaporation, hot steam, or ultrasonic technology. If tap water is used in the ultrasonic humidifier, it may add tiny mineral particles into the air.

While the air purifiers don’t add any moisture to the air, the humidifiers don’t clean the air by removing them. Thus, they both serve different purposes.

Impact of air purifiers and humidifiers on your health

Both air purifiers and humidifiers influence air quality in different ways.

These devices affect our health in various medical conditions like asthma, allergy, dry air, respiratory tract infections, etc.

Asthma and allergies 

The air purifiers are equipped with advanced filters like HEPA filters that capture the pollutants and allergens like dust mites, mould spores, pollen, pet dander, etc. It is beneficial for individuals who suffer from allergies or asthmatic conditions.

Some advanced air purifiers not only capture the allergens but also destroy them.

These work great in reducing the exposure to these allergens, which find their way into indoor air circulating in your home or office.

Humidifiers don’t create any sort of impact on the levels of allergens present in-home air. These add moisture to your indoor air and provide immense relief if you have dry and irritated nasal passages.

The humidifiers don’t provide relief in asthma or allergy symptoms. On the contrary, if these are not properly cleaned or disinfected, these may even increase the risks associated with asthma and allergies by introducing mould spores into the air.

Symptoms of Cold and Flu 

The air purifiers don’t have any direct impact on the symptoms of cold and flu. These don’t treat the existing cold but help alleviate the symptoms by capturing the respiratory irritants present in the surrounding air.

A humidifier provides great relief by addressing the discomfort due to the flu or cold. It relieves a stuffy nose and also provides a protective benefit against viruses by reducing their infectiousness with the right level of humidity.

A humidifier doesn’t treat the pre-existing cold and flu, but it helps cope with the symptoms by avoiding scratchy nose and dry throat.

Dry air 

With dry air, respiratory ailments like bronchitis, sinusitis, and asthma get further worsened. An air purifier does not provide relief in excessively dry air conditions as it can’t add moisture to the indoor air.

A humidifier works by increasing the moisture in the air. It leads to increased relative humidity, which brings welcome relief in dry air conditions.


A humidifier works great when there are dry air conditions in a nursery. It helps in preventing dry nose and scratchy throat in babies.

A cool-mist humidifier provides relief with cough and cold symptoms in infants. It helps in loosening mucus and decreasing nasal congestion.

The humidifiers also decrease the infectiousness of bacteria and viruses by increasing the relative humidity in the range of 40 to 60 per cent. Hence, the humidifiers work great for babies in the nursery.

On the other hand, an air purifier reduces harmful pollutants in the indoor air and provides healthy and clean air for breathing. It effectively filters out various pollutants like pet dander, pollen, moulds, smoke, plastics, and other asthma triggers.

Thus, an air purifier serves as an ideal alternative for ensuring clean and pure air in your baby’s room.


Both air purifiers and humidifiers require proper maintenance for ensuring their optimal performance.

A humidifier requires frequent cleaning and disinfection.

You should use distilled water with ultrasonic humidifiers to prevent mineral particles’ addition to the indoor air. These particles may reach the lungs of infants and young kids through inhaled air.

An air purifier requires regular cleaning of its filters and other components. Washable filters like HEPA filters can be cleaned for removing the dirt or dust over their surfaces. The un-washable filters, when they get clogged, require replacement and cleaning.

Using air purifier and humidifier togethe

As both an air purifier and a humidifier serve different purposes, you can use both of them together for maximizing their effectiveness.

If you like to use them in the same room, ensure to place them strategically so that these are not located in the vicinity of each other. The moisture from the humidifier can hamper the functionality of the filters and may result in clogged filters.

A humidifier placed near an air purifier with HEPA filters can limit its effectiveness. It can create dampness in the filter area that may promote mould or bacteria’s growth on the filter. Ideally, you should place them at the opposite ends of the room.


Considering the highly polluted indoor air, the air purifier has become a long-term solution for ensuring pure and healthy indoor air quality in your home. It enables you and your family to breathe clean and pure air without harmful air pollutants and allergens.

On the other hand, a humidifier provides a temporary solution for coping up with dry air conditions. It also provides great relief in improving the symptoms of cold and flu.

Depending on your requirements, you can use them for meeting the specific purpose they serve. Also, you can place them in the same room at opposite ends for experiencing their benefits together.


Preksha is passionate about writing articles that will inspire readers to make better choices. You will find her eating desserts for lunch, dinner and any time of the day. Also, she is the chief playlist engineer for any road trip.

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