Differences Between Air Purifiers VS Humidifiers: which one do you need?

Last Updated on April 6, 2024

Air purifiers and humidifiers may sound similar to some, but they have certain differences.

Well, the core difference is in the purposes of using them. A purifier filters the air passing through the room, but a humidifier makes the room moister and prevents dampness. Moreover, they even have differences in their overall size and types too. Even if you consider their operating style, you’ll still find differences.

So, want to know the ultimate differences between air purifiers vs humidifiers? If yes, then this article has got you covered.

Air Purifiers Vs. Humidifiers: The Ultimate Differences

Air purifiers and humidifiers have been up for debate as they have some structural similarities despite being significantly different. So, let’s see the ultimate differences between these devices that make them so different from one another.


The first difference you will find between them is in the overall size. A humidifier is pretty small and compact. As it doesn’t take much space, so you can actually place it on a table corner. Despite being compact, the device is good enough to moisturize the air inside.

On the other hand, purifiers are comparatively larger in size. They apparently look similar to air conditioners (to some extent), as their capacity and functions are pretty much relatable. So, with this example, you can have a draft of the size of an air purifier.


Another difference between them is in their types. For example, humidifiers have to be portable even if they are non-rechargeable. On the contrary, a purifier can be both portable and non-portable.

The portable ones are, of course, easy to operate, but the non-portable ones are more sophisticated in terms of appearance. So, to conclude, you can easily carry your humidifiers wherever you want, but this might not be true for non-portable air purifiers.


A purifier cleans the air surrounding you, especially when you’re staying in a room. It’s designed to eliminate all microorganisms, dust, and harmful substances from the air. Thus, it can protect you from airborne illnesses.

However, humidifiers are highly useful during the dry seasons. They will generate humidity and moisture in the air to reduce dryness, thus, preventing you from dry sensations.

Yes, one thing that is indeed common between these devices. Both appliances are designed to aid you in different situations, whether by moisturizing the air or purifying it for you!

Working Style

There is a huge difference between the mechanism of these devices. You must add water to the humidifier before starting it. And it is not necessary to add distilled water to it; once it starts heating up the water (to vaporize it), it kills bacteria through vibration.

In addition, the vapor will spread in the room air to reduce dryness from your surrounding.

However, you don’t have to put water inside an air purifier. It’s already designed to clean the air around you. When the air passes through the purifier, it clears all the present dirt and microbes as per its capacity. Thus, you will have safer and fresher air hoovering you!

Note:  Now, can you use a humidifier every night? Well, obviously. And not just a humidifier, but you can also use an air purifier every night. It entirely depends on you.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Which is better: a humidifier or an air purifier?

You may know the differences between a humidifier and an air purifier, but you cannot identify either of them better than the other. Each has significantly distinct features that stand out in their purposes.

  1. Is there a downside to air purifiers?

There are no significant downsides to having an air purifier. However, there are chances that these devices can end up generating ozone in the air. Plus, it may require once in a while thorough maintenance to ensure optimum performance.

  1. Does an air purifier work like a humidifier?

An air purifier doesn’t work as a humidifier because purifiers can only reduce toxins in the air while passing through it. It doesn’t create any moisture, nor does it decrease dryness. Also, a humidifier can never be an alternative to a purifier since it can’t purify the surrounding air.

  1. Which is better for sinuses: humidifier or air purifier?

Air purifiers and humidifiers have their merits, and they both do good for people with respiratory problems. But when it comes to sinus pain, the main cause is cold and lack of moisture around.

So, a humidifier can help better than a purifier to reduce the effects of the sinus. This is because humidifiers balance the moisture in the air and aid in reducing sore throat and sinus.

Bottom Line

So, after this brief comparison, we believe you’ll now have a clear understanding of the differences between air purifiers vs. humidifiers. Well, both devices have their own purpose along with the working mechanism. And it’s not even valid to compare which one you should get first as both have their importance.

Therefore, the only suggestion we can provide is to go for both appliances one at a time and check or enjoy their merits!

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Paul M Walker

I, Paul M Walker, am the founder and the author of this little site you are currently on. I work to provide readers with no-fuss and easy-to-follow solutions regarding common air purifier and humidifier problems.

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