Water Air Purifier vs Filter

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Updated January 13, 2023

Comparing a water air purifier vs filter technology means looking into which populations each system serves best. Water-based air purifiers are probably the way to go for those needing an air purifier with the ability to raise indoor humidity levels. A HEPA filter is your best bet if you have allergy symptoms to soothe. Either way, the most important thing is finding the best air purifiers to fit your needs. Moreover, that includes a no-filter air purifier, if that’s what you’re looking for. If not, keep reading.


  • Water-based air purifiers are a less popular choice for consumers, but they still offer excellent filtration with the bonus of raising indoor humidity levels.
  • Conventional air purification units use different filters, such as carbon filters, to purify airborne particles.
  • Both air cleaners are a solid choice, and the decision between them comes down to your health considerations.

Comparing Water Air Purifiers to Filters

The showdown of water air purifier vs filter technology comes down to a few key differences. Both work well to improve indoor air quality, of course. They’re just meant for different populations of people. We’ll get into more on that below. In the meantime, if you are looking for more options, you may be interested in our review of UV vs an ozone air purifier.

Explaining Water-Based Purifiers

Suppose you’ve been thinking about conventional air purification units. In that case, you might want to ask yourself, “What is the difference between an air purifier and an ozone generator?” to figure out all your options. Beyond that, keep reading to learn more about the benefits of using a purifier with water filtration technology.

Insider Tip

Look for a water-based air purifier that doubles as a scent diffuser if your household struggles with bad odors from pets and other sources.

Is a Purifier with Water Filtration Effective?

A purifier with water filtration can be incredibly effective at removing common household air pollutants. However, they can’t compete with a HEPA filter air purifier, as you’d find with the top-rated air purifier for smoke. The real reason you’d want to choose a purifier with water filtration is for the increased indoor humidity levels. As a plus, some of them are fantastic for controlling bad odor by using aroma oil scents. If this type of purifier sounds good to you and you like DIY projects, you can learn how to make an air purifier with water.

What are the Benefits of Water Purifiers

A purifier with water filtration offers a slew of benefits:

  • Marginal increase in indoor humidity levels
  • Filtration of both particulate and gaseous pollutants
  • Some models double as aroma diffusers to control bad odor

Explaining Filter Air Purifiers

Most types of air purifiers use filters of some kind to trap particles like mold spores and other airborne pollutants. HEPA-based air purifiers are the best at keeping your environment free of indoor pollution. You’ll always want to consider the cost of replacement filters, for example. Tap water is free, and many water-based systems can use it. Additionally, you can read about the differences between an air washer vs air purifier.

For comparisons of devices, read our PM2.5 vs HEPA filter, air purifier vs air cleaner, and H13 HEPA filter vs True HEPA.

Air Regular Air Filters Effective?

Regular filters are pretty effective. However, an air purifier that uses a mechanical filter is far superior. A HEPA filter air purifier is the way to relieve common allergens, harmful particles, and more. While filters are fantastic, filter replacements can get expensive. There are downsides to this technology.

What Are the Benefits of Filters?

You can expect to enjoy a ton of benefits from using both specialty and regular air filters:

  • Removal of common asthma triggers like mold spores
  • A HEPA-based air purifier can eliminate airborne allergens
  • Lowers overall indoor air pollution levels


If you have severe asthma or allergies, the only appropriate purification system for you is one with a HEPA filter, or you might not see a significant decrease in symptoms.


Does the use of air purifiers or humidifiers help with eczema?

A conventional purifier won’t help much with eczema. The best choice for alleviating the skin condition is to raise the level of humidity in your home a tremendous amount, especially during a dry season.

Can air purifiers help filter outdoor air that comes into your house?

Yes, air purifiers are fantastic for making sure indoor air quality stays clean. While they aren’t as effective at working with the windows open, they will still filter air at a lower cleaning speed.

What are water air purifiers good at?

Water air purifiers are good at raising the level of humidity in your home by a marginal amount. They are also highly effective at removing dust particles and other airborne pollutants.

Can I replace a humidifier with an air purifier using water?

That depends on your desired level of humidity in your home. If you only need a marginal increase in the level of humidity, then you absolutely can replace your air humidifier. If the humidity level is far too low, then keep the humidifier.

STAT: In a 2018 study of 130 or so households, a 30 percent reduction in coarse particles was shown when the household used a filtration system. (source)

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