Updated: May 10
Although both humidifiers and air purifiers can impact the air quality in your home, each one has unique advantages. You should be able to tell the difference between an air purifier or humidifier. This will help you to avoid dry, irritable, or allergic conditions.
We'll explain the differences between each device and how to use them safely. We've also included our list of 5 great air purifier / humidifier combos that you can get online, so that you can enjoy the best of both worlds.
What's the difference - Air Purifiers vs Humidifiers
An air purifier cleans the air by "inactivating" or removing pollutants. An air purifier consists of a fan and a filter. However, the specific technology used to clean the air can vary from HEPA filters to ionizers or PECO technology.
Air is circulated through most air purifiers. Pollutants are captured or removed by a filter, and then clean air is released back into the room. Air purifiers don't add moisture to the air.
A humidifier on the other hand does not clean the air. It simply adds moisture to the air by heating water into steam, vibrating water droplets in the air, or evaporating it using a fan with a wick.
If tap water is used in lieu of distilled water, ultrasonic humidifiers can also introduce small mineral particles to the air. Although the health effects of these particles on the body aren't well-known, research has shown that they may have some effects upon lung tissue.
The EPA recommends that you use distilled water and that your humidifier be cleaned and disinfected regularly.
How do they benefit your health - Air Purifiers vs Humidifiers
Humidifiers and air purifiers can have different effects on the quality of air, which can improve your health differently. There are some differences in how it is advantageous to have air purifiers vs humidifiers. These are the most common benefits that they have:
Allergies and asthma
Some purifiers can reduce allergens such as pollen, dust mites, or pet dander. Air purifiers are great for people suffering from asthma or allergies. These allergens can be carried in tiny particles suspended in the air. They can stay suspended for hours. These particles are captured by traditional air filters, but the Molekule purifier can destroy them and HEPA filters can remove them from the air.
Humidifiers on the other hand have no effect on allergen levels. Humidifiers may make symptoms less severe if your nose is dry or irritated. Humidifiers don't reduce asthma symptoms or allergy symptoms (Gonzales, Svendsen & Commodore (2018)).
If a humidifier doesn't get cleaned properly, it can become moldy and introduce mold spores to the air. This can trigger allergy and asthma symptoms. If you do use one, make sure that it is cleaned regularly.
Respiratory irritation, colds, flu, and other symptoms
While common air purifiers trap particles in the air, some viruses can still pass through regular filters. Although an air purifier can't treat a cold or flu, it may help to relieve symptoms by eliminating other respiratory irritants.
A humidifier, according to NIH may be able to relieve a stuffy or irritable nose. A humidifier may provide protection against viruses if it is set at the right humidity level. Multiple studies by Lapidus and colleagues (2013) show that increasing humidity to 40-60 percent can reduce the risk of contracting viruses.
A humidifier can't cure you if you are already sick. However, it can reduce symptoms by keeping your nose and throat dry.
An indoor purifier doesn't add moisture to the air. This can lead to a variety of respiratory conditions, such as asthma and sinusitis in extreme cases.
Humidifiers increase the humidity in the air and improve dry air conditions. It can cause irritation to your throat and nose if the air becomes too dry, especially in winter.
5 Best Air Purifier - Humidifier Combos
1. Sharp Plasmacluster KC850UH Review (Best Overall Humidifier & Air Purifier Combo)
Sharp Plasmacluster KC-850UH, a combination humidifier, and an air purifier are ideal. It has the perfect balance between indoor air quality improvement, relative humidity, and humidification.
2. LW25 Review (Best Large Range Air Purifier Humidifier with 2-Gallon Water Storage Container)
The Airwasher is a humidifier and air purifier that can be used to purify and humidify the air. VentaLW25 uses water to remove pollen and other pollutants.
This principle does not require filters, unlike other air purifiers. Venta LW25 Airwasher uses water for washing the filters.
Venta W25 air washer has the best humidifier function. A large 2-gallon water tank lets you reach ideal levels of 40%-60% even during heating seasons. This unit can be used to humidify, but it can also double as an air purifier.
3. Dyson Pure Humidify+Cool HP04 Review (Premium Advanced Humidifier + Purifier)
HEPA air purifier with multi-functionality. + fan, space heater; Backward airflow mode purifies the air without heating or cooling.
Dyson technology is able to create a healthier, cleaner home. Their vacuums and purifiers have been scientifically shown to capture particles as small and as tiny as bacteria and allergens.
Air quality is monitored automatically by an LCD monitor. It detects ultrafine particles (PM 2.5), allergens (10PM10), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and nitrogen dioxide (NO2).
This air purifier is ideal for pets, allergies, dust, pollen, and mold spores. It has a sealed HEPA filter that captures 99.97% of allergens down to 0.3 microns.
It really purifies the air in the room. Air Multiplier technology provides smooth, powerful airflow at speeds of over 77 gallons per minute. Up to 350 degrees of oscillation directs the airflow to where it is needed.
The HP04 purifying heater space heater is ideal for heating large spaces or heating regular rooms quickly. It also has thermostatic control, so that the room can stay warm in winter.
Wi-Fi home heaters and air purifiers are now connected to the internet. You can get real time reports and remote control of your machine using the Dyson Link app.
4. Afloia Air Purifier - Humidifier Combo (Budget Choice)
MIRO PRO is an upgraded version of MIRO. It is an air purifier and humidifier all in one. The main body of the machine is the air purifier. The humidifier is installed on the purifier by fixing the bottom serration.
The module of humidifier can be removed and replaced independently.
Air purifiers have a three-stage filtration system (prefilter, activated charcoal filter, and HEPA filter).
The improved filter has a larger expansion area and a longer length than the others. Filters can be aired 5 times an hour to 219 square feet and can air in 24 minutes in rooms about 438 square feet in size.
The purifier is water-free and will not collect dust while the humidifier provides pure humidity without any mist. It can be used to treat allergies, cough, dry skin, wrinkles and insomnia.
There are three light modes: light off, soft mode and standard. You can choose your preferred light and choose from the three modes to create a relaxing sleeping environment.
5. Turonic PH950- Air Purifier & Humidifier for Home
A PH950 HEPA home purifier will create a fresh and clean atmosphere in large rooms. It is a powerful air purifier that cleans up pet dander and smoke, dust, odors, allergens, and allergens from your home. The PH950 has a mesh filter, cotton filter, and an activated carbon filter. It also includes a humidifier and UV light built into it.
The humidifier / air purifier combination helps you achieve the ideal humidity levels. For seamless air refining, switch to the 8-speed auto mode at a low noise level of 36 dB. It has an ambient light sensor as well that helps in silent operation in the dark.
The smart cleaner can be controlled via a built-in touch panel, Wi-Fi app, or remote. It includes a 12-hour timer, filter quality indicator, air quality display, child lock, and filter health indicator.
The air purifier vs humidifier debate doesn't lead us to make a choice between the two, but begs us to consider the benefits of both. You might alternatively need to pick between an air purifier vs a humidifier depending on what benefits concern you the most. If so, make sure to check out out reviews and lists of the best air purifiers and humidifiers you can get online as well.