Air Purifier vs Humidifier – Pick the Right One

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Updated January 10, 2023

When shopping around for the best air purifier vs. humidifier, like the RainMate vs New Comfort air purifiers, it’s important to know what they do and how they can help filter or remove allergens and dust, how they can release moisture into the air, or how an air purifier-humidifier combo could do both. To look at a model good at this, you’ll want to read our Venta Airwasher LW15 review.

However, remember that finding the right unit will remove pollutants or reduce humidity takes time. This is dependent on which device you need the most. For instance, for dry skin, a humidifier will relieve dry skin problems. 

But for better lung health and reduction of allergy symptoms, you’ll want to opt for an air purifier, whether a stationary model or a portable air purifier, that helps with better breathing and relieves asthma symptoms. 

Many people use humidifiers in their homes, especially if they have dry throat or a respiratory condition. On the other hand, you have the folks that use air purifiers and dehumidifiers. In fact, some HVAC systems have them built in already. Other people use air purifiers, and some even use both. They’re different things, however, and serve different purposes.

With that said, if you need both devices (but don’t want to buy separate units), you’ll want to check out our BONECO Air Washer W200 review.


Both devices improve indoor air quality, but in different ways. They can help people with asthma, sinus, allergies, or respiratory issues, but how they offer relief varies.

An air purifier moves your home’s air through a filter, to clear out pet dander, mold spores, pollen, dust, and other particles. A humidifier, however, adds moisture to the air to relieve any irritation caused by dry air.

This is why the use of warm mist humidifiers can ease dry skin conditions, stuffy noses, or sore throats. 


An air purifier is excellent for people who have allergies or asthma because it can trap contaminants that cause symptoms and flares. It’s like an air washer, removing everything dirty, and leaving your air clean and breathable.

A humidifier is great for people with chronic sinus, respiratory problems, or asthma. It contains a large tank of water that helps to remove dry air and add moist air back. There are different types of humidifiers: including a cool-mist humidifier, an evaporative humidifier, and an ultrasonic humidifier.


Humidifiers and air purifiers are not interchangeable. They work in different ways, and some people, like those with asthma and other respiratory issues, may benefit from having both.

Air purifiers trap bacteria, dust, allergens, smoke, pet dander, mold spores, and plenty of other particles in their filters before releasing clean air back into the home.

It sucks air into the machine and then uses a HEPA filter to draw the air through, removing contaminants as it goes. True HEPA filters are 99.97% effective. It does not add any moisture to the air when it releases it.

A humidifier adds moisture back into the air but doesn’t clean it. It releases water vapor into your room using a reservoir attached to the machine. You need to add water to the tank for it to work continually.

Whole-Home vs. Freestanding

Both air purifiers and humidifiers come in different sizes. You can get freestanding units for a particular room or whole-home units that clean your whole house. Sometimes you experience problems in only one room and don’t need a large unit.

However, there are advantages to having a whole-home unit because it is quieter, requires less maintenance, and works better overall.

Best Uses

An air purifier is best for people who have allergies or get irritated by polluted air. It’s the best solution for removing pet dander, mold, odors, and other allergens. A humidifier is best for people who live in dry climates and need to make the air in their homes more comfortable. It can be beneficial for people who have sinus issues or get frequent nosebleeds.

Asthma sufferers and people with other respiratory issues may benefit from the right balance of both machines. Using them side by side in the same room makes the air in that room clean with just the right amount of humidity.e

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