Air Washer vs Air Purifier

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Updated January 12, 2023

Comparing an air washer vs an air purifier means looking into what functions each machine offers. For example, only an air washer comes with a humidifier function. This fundamental difference makes a significant change in your environment. More air purifiers exist beyond these two, so make sure you look into the best air purifier for your specific needs.


  • A simple air purifier can remove dust mites and neutralize airborne particles, while an air purifier with a humidifier function also provides air humidification.
  • Maintaining an ideal humidity level in your environment helps relieve allergy symptoms, so people with allergies should invest in an air washer.
  • Both units provide relief to people with allergies, but the option for ultimate relief is the air washer.

Comparing Air Washers and Air Purifiers

If you have allergies, comparing an air washer vs an air purifier is essential to ensure additional well-being from your air cleaner. Only one of these options has a dual purpose, providing an added humidifier function. Hygienic air humidification alleviates more health concerns than just purifying the air. There are even more options out there, however. You might be interested in comparing an air sanitizer vs a purifier for your next round of research. Moving on, we’ll look into how the performance levels of an air purifier humidifier combo compare to the well-loved, mighty air purifier.

Insider Tip

Improving the humidity levels in your home can help alleviate the symptoms of respiratory distress, whether from asthma or allergies.

Where Both Options Compare

There are a few places where the two products readily compare. A significant difference is that air washers are widely considered the better choice for people with allergies. We’ll get to below for a few reasons for this. We have a great article comparing an allergen remover vs an air purifier for more information regarding allergen removal. Additionally, you can read our comparison of the differences between air purifiers and air cleaners.

Although, if you’re eager to start shopping for an air purifier, you can start with our Airdog air purifier review.

Improving Indoor Climate

Poor indoor climate and air quality can lead to worsening asthma symptoms and other health problems, which is why you want to use an air purifier. An air purifier rates high-performance levels for removing airborne particles. However, it won’t help maintain ideal humidity. You need an evaporative humidifier for that. An air washer is an excellent option for achieving ideal humidity in your home and perfecting your indoor climate. On the topic of climate, an air purifier with a humidification function provides lower energy consumption. Getting an air purifier combo is better for the environment.

Removing Airborne Pollutants

Both units remove airborne pollutants from the air. The method is different, however. An air humidifier can raise indoor humidity levels, and an air washer carries that same ability. They also use the clean water in their water base to remove household dust, cigarette smoke, and other contaminants. Simple operation is another deciding factor for most, second only to quiet operation. This means deciding between an air purifier with a washable filter or a replaceable filter. We’ll go over simple operations next.

Simplicity of Operation

When it comes to simplicity of operation, an air purifier is marginally easier to use. The extra effort results from an air washer requiring regularly adding fresh water to its water reservoir. Both options are straightforward to use, and their simple operation makes them great to have. The simplicity of operation is an essential factor but isn’t a deal-breaker for either type of filtration system. It might not be obvious to tell if your air purifier is properly functioning or not, so learn how to tell if your air purifier is working if you’re unsure.

Helping with Health Concerns

An air washer is your best choice for helping with health concerns. If you’re an allergy sufferer, then maintaining ideal humidity indoors can help tremendously. Humidity rates are known for relieving asthma symptoms, as well. If your environment is causing regular asthma attacks, you should invest in an air washer to achieve the ideal humidity for your indoor climate.

Which is the Better Option for You?

For people with allergies, an air washer is the best option. Families with children take note, especially those who have experienced respiratory distress. If your health concerns require maintaining ideal humidity, then going with the cheapest air purifier around can lead to disaster. Hygienic air humidification is a life-saver for people with allergies. Raising indoor humidity levels also helps stave off asthma attacks. If you want something with a modern design, look into a Dyson air purifier or humidifier. Either way, invest in an air purifier humidifier combo with a water base to improve your indoor climate.


Dry air can lead to several health complications, such as bloody noses or worsening allergy symptoms.


Is an air washer or an air purifier better for healthy indoor air?

That depends on your location. Dry air conditions call for evaporative humidification to achieve optimal humidity. This is crucial for improving chronic health conditions, such as asthma attacks. Quality still matters, however. The cheapest option for an air purifier humidifier combo won’t stand a chance against a Dyson air purifier.

How do air purifiers and humidifiers impact your health?

Air purifiers work by removing harmful pollutants from the air, such as dust particles. An air humidifier is used in dry air conditions to help raise your home’s humidity level. Both machines are helpful for those with asthma symptoms and people with allergies.

Can I use both an air purifier and humidifier together?

You can use an air purifier and a humidifier together to achieve better indoor air quality. Alternatively, consider purchasing a purifier and humidifier combo to cut down on purchase costs and increase efficiency. A combi is great for lowering energy consumption.

What distinguishes air washers from basic humidifiers?

A basic humidifier uses evaporative humidification to raise indoor humidity levels. An air washer performs the same function with the added benefit of improving indoor air quality.

STAT: From 2010 to 2019, the retail sales of air cleaners rose almost 50% in the United States. (source)

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