Air Purifiers vs. Humidifiers – Full Comparison & Top Picks

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Air purifiers and humidifiers are no longer new devices in the market. They are pieces of technology that have been around for a while now and are also widely used by people, too.

Though people often use the two interchangeably, there is a fine line between the function of both the devices, which can be obviously noted by their names.

From their functions to their role in households, everything about the two devices is different, and in this article, we’ll discuss these differences.

Comparison Chart of the Best Air Purifiers and Humidifiers 

Product

Our Rating

Price

Alen BreatheSmart Classic Air Purifier

Alen BreatheSmart Classic Large Room Air Purifier, 1100 sqft. Big Coverage Area, True HEPA Filter for Allergies, Pollen, Dust, Dander and Fur in White

Best Air Purifier Overall

Honeywell True HEPA Allergen Remover

Honeywell HPA300 True HEPA Air Purifier, Extra-Large Room, Black

Runner-up

LEVOIT LV-H132

LEVOIT H13 True HEPA Filter Air Purifiers for Allergies and Pets, Smokers, Smoke, Dust, Mold, and Pollen, Cleaner for Bedroom, Large Room with Optional Night Light, LV-H132

Best for the Money

Honeywell HCM350W

Honeywell HCM350W Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier White

Best Humidifier Overall

LEVOIT Warm and Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier

LEVOIT Humidifiers for Large Room Bedroom (6L), Warm and Cool Mist Ultrasonic Air Humidifier for Home Whole House Babies Room, Customized Humidity, Remote, Germ Free and Whisper-Quiet

Runner-up

VicTsing Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifiers

VicTsing Essential Oil Diffuser, 300ml Oil Diffuser with 7 Color Lights and 4 Timer, Aromatherapy Diffuser with Auto Shut-off Function, Cool Mist Humidifier BPA-Free for Bedroom Home

Best for the Money

Air Purifiers vs. Humidifiers - Similarities and Differences

Now that we’ve looked at the best air purifiers and humidifiers, let’s take a look at ways in which they are both different and alike. We will see what features make them suitable for what requirements. This is essential in order to understand which one of the two devices is more beneficial for you to invest in.

Air Purifiers vs. Humidifiers - Differences

Given the fact that the devices provide two completely different functions, the two have a number of differences.

Function

The most basic difference between the two devices is their function. An air purifier is a device used to filter a number of particles and pollutants from the air that can be irritable or harmful.

A humidifier, on the other hand, adds to the levels of humidity on a room which is beneficial in areas with low humidity.

In other words, an air purifier removes harmful substances from the air, while a humidifier adds a beneficial one to it.

Working

Given that the function of the two devices is greatly different, so is their working. An air purifier works by using filters that act as sieves. These sieve-like filters trap the unwanted particles and pollutants within them, circulating purified and fresh air through the room.

A humidifier, on the other hand, works by adding water vapor to the air in the room. It does so by turning the water that is put into the device into water vapors which are then dispersed into the surrounding air.

Certain humidifiers can also be used as diffusers by simply adding essential oils or fragrances to the water being used. Meanwhile, no such use can be made of air purifiers.

Allergies

An air purifier is capable of helping people with allergies. It does so by efficiently removing a number of irritants and allergens from the air, providing relief to those dealing with the struggle of allergies.

A humidifier, on the other hand, can’t be of much help for those with allergies as it can only add moisture to the room’s atmosphere.

Mold

An air purifier can help you get rid of mold from your home as it removes a number of particles from the air which may include mold spores.

On the contrary, a humidifier may encourage the growth of mold, if it increases the levels of humidity in a room above 50%

Air Purifiers vs. Humidifiers – Similarities

Even though air purifiers and humidifiers work on different principles, the two do share a few common features.

Easier Breathing

Both air purifiers and humidifiers are designed to provide ease to one’s lungs. An air purifier does so by removing the harmful particles that may harm us by being breathed in.

Meanwhile, a humidifier helps by adding moisture to the air, reducing the harsh effects of coughing and irritation that can be caused by low levels of humidity.

Increased Air Quality

Be it through adding moisture to the surrounding air, or by removing unwanted substances, both these devices function to provide you with an enhanced air quality around you, which will eventually put you in better health and a better state of mood as well.

Asthma

Asthma is a condition which presents with episodes of impaired ability to breathe. An air purifier and humidifier both have been proven to be useful for those suffering from asthma.

An air purifier does so by removing any irritants that might trigger an episode, while a humidifier helps by providing easier breathing through increased levels of humidity.

What is an Air Purifier?

Air purifiers, as the name suggests, are devices that work to purify the surrounding air. The first air purifier ever was invented by Charles Anthony Deane. The model was, however, very different from the present day air purifiers. It underwent a lot of modifications until the 1950s when the first HEPA filter was introduced.

These filters quickly gained popularity due to their efficient air filtering technique, but it wasn’t till 1963 that these air purifiers started being used residentially. Jump to the present day and presently, these devices are being widely used by almost every other person.

Review of the Best Air Purifiers

Over the past years, air purifiers have taken many forms, coming to the present day where there are a wide range of air purifiers available, all that work in different ways with different sorts of filters used for different reasons.

Choosing the best one for you can be tricky if the right features are not considered. Here are the best air purifiers that one can invest in, considering all the important aspects of the devices that should be evaluated.

Best Air Purifier Overall:
 Alen BreatheSmart Classic Air Purifier

Alen BreatheSmart Classic Large Room Air Purifier, 1100 sqft. Big Coverage Area, True HEPA Filter for Allergies, Pollen, Dust, Dander and Fur in White

PROS

  • Benchmark HEPA Filtration that Allows Optimal Air Purification
  • Effective Purification that Completely Filters the Air in a Room in Less Than Two Hours
  • Diverse Types of Panels to Choose From to Ensure the Device Matches With Your Interior Decor

CONS

  • The Red Mode of the Device is Loud and Might Prove to Be Disturbing
  • The Pre-Filter Needs to Be Cleaned Every 10 Days or the Device Doesn’t Function as Efficiently

Our Review

Alen BreatheSmart Classic with its HEPA Pure Filter ensures that the air around you is thoroughly filtered from all sorts of dust particles, pollen, pet dander, and various allergens, allowing you to breathe in fresher air.

The model offers an innovative design that features 15 panel options that allow the device to match with the interior of your house brilliantly. The functionality of the device is just as remarkable as its design, giving you a powerful coverage of up to 1100 square feet of area.

The device works while producing minimal noise, so as not to disturb your everyday life or peaceful nights. Moreover, it produces white, pink, and red noises that soothe you and help you relax

Honeywell HPA300 True HEPA Air Purifier, Extra-Large Room, Black

PROS

  • Capable of Working Just as Well in Large-Sized Rooms
  • Very Helpful for People Suffering from Different Allergies as it Efficiently Clears up the Allergens from the Air
  • The Efficient Filtering System Circulates and Filters the Entire Air in the Room About 5 Times in an Hour, Ensuring that Any Added Impurity in the Room’s Air is Immediately Removed

CONS

  • Upon the First Use, the Device May Emit a Burning Odor

Our Review

With the Honeywell True HEPA allergen remover, you can say goodbye to the struggle of dealing with allergies. Its efficient filtering capabilities will rid your surrounding air from all the irritating allergens and particles that have been annoying you for so long.

This device is designed to perform efficiently in rooms as big as 465 square feet, making it ideal for open and large-sized rooms. Even in those big-sized rooms, the HEPA filter performs proficiently, clearing about 99.9% of all the unwanted particles in the air.

Equipped with three air cleaning levels and a turbo clean setting, this air purifier will not only filter out particles in the air but also get rid of a number of germs and odors, so you can breathe fresh air.

Best for the Money:
LEVOIT LV-H132

LEVOIT H13 True HEPA Filter Air Purifiers for Allergies and Pets, Smokers, Smoke, Dust, Mold, and Pollen, Cleaner for Bedroom, Large Room with Optional Night Light, LV-H132

PROS

  • The 3-Stage Filtration System Ensures Optimal Air Filtration for a Cleaner Air
  • The Low, Medium, and High Settings Allow You to Adjust the Device According to Your Need
  • The Replacement of Filters for This Device is Very Cost Effective as Compared to Other Brands

CONS

  • The High-Speed Setting of the Device is Quite Loud
  • Clicking a Button Gives a High Pitch Noise Which Might Be Disturbing
  • The Buttons are Very Sensitive and May Be Pressed Accidentally Very Often

Our Review

LEVOIT has added fresher air for breathing in a number of households with the LV-H132, a piece of technology that brings comfort to your lungs. Functioning with the true HEPA filter, this air purifier will filter the air in your room, leaving you to feel the difference for yourself.

The best thing about this LEVOIT device is that it is completely ozone-free. It also doesn’t utilize any sort of UV or ions that may produce traces of ozone that can harm you. It features a three-stage filtration, a system that consists of a pre-filter, a true HEPA filter, and an activated carbon filter

Furthermore, this air purifier provides you with three-speed settings that allow you to adjust the device according to your own needs. The compact size and the contemporary design of this device will make it an addition to any household.

What is a Humidifier?

Humidifiers are appliances that are used to increase the levels of humidity in a room. The first humidifier was invented by Raymond Banks back in 1962. The devices were initially not well received, and it took a while before they eventually took off.

But coming to the present day, humidifiers are widely used by people, proving that they have become a device of importance in a number of households. Humidifiers are of many types, primarily industrial, portable, or fixed.

Their functions may slightly vary depending upon the type of humidifier being used and its role. They generally benefit the most when used in hot, dry places where there is naturally low humidity.

Review of the Best Humidifiers

Choosing the right humidifier and perhaps the best one for yourself can be a daunting task and may become a frustrating one given the great number of devices available in the market. For your convenience, here are the best humidifiers that have been tested and reviewed, so you can decide which one would work the best for you.

Best Humidifier Overall:
Honeywell HCM350W

Honeywell HCM350W Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier White

PROS

  • The UV Technology Kills Bacteria for Cleaner Air
  • Works Efficiently in Medium to Large-Sized Rooms
  • The 1-Gallon Tank Ensures the Device Doesn’t Have to Be Filled With Water Very Often
  • The Evaporative Technology of the Device Adds Filtered and Cool Moisture to the Air Which Can’t Be Over Humidified

CONS

  • The Efficiency of the Device Decreases as the Filter Ages
  • The Tank Lid Can Be Very Hard to Clean and Requires Extra Effort

Our Review

If you’re looking for a solution for the hot and dry atmosphere that has been bothering you for a while now, this cool mist humidifier by Honeywell is the perfect choice for you. It will not only increase the levels of humidity to aid your comfort but also help with the hot weather that can get on your nerves fairly quickly.

This device is equipped with a one--gallon tank that will last you an entire day if kept running on low. This makes it perfect for normal-sized bedrooms, cooling and humidifying the air around. It also features an ultraviolet technology that will kill almost all the germs present in the water being used to ensure your best health.

The cool mist humidification of this device can help you by aiding your comfortable breathing, sleeping, and provide further comfort for your nasal congestion and dry skin.

LEVOIT Humidifiers for Large Room Bedroom (6L), Warm and Cool Mist Ultrasonic Air Humidifier for Home Whole House Babies Room, Customized Humidity, Remote, Germ Free and Whisper-Quiet

PROS

  • Touch Control and Remote Control for More Convenient Usage
  • 25% Faster at Increasing Humidity Level Than Other Cool Mist Humidifiers
  • 1.5-Gallon Capacity for Water, Ensuring You Don’t Have to Change the Water Frequently
  • Features a Smart Mode for Smooth Operation and Aromatherapy That Allows the Addition of Essential Oils for a Soothing Aroma

CONS

  • The Device May Emit a Burning Odor at the First Use
  • The Tank May Leak Water and Needs to Be Checked Constantly for Leaks

Our Review

If you’re looking for a humidifier that can ease the heat of summers, as well provide some comfort in chilly winters, then look no further. This ultrasonic humidifier by LEVOIT is designed to produce warm, as well as cool, mist to suit to your temperature requirements.

The device is capable of not only producing both warm and cold mists but can produce each at three different levels. It works efficiently, increasing the humidity levels in a room about 25% which is faster than the devices that can produce only cool mists.

One of the best features of the device is that it displays the real-time humidity levels of the room that allows you to adjust the working of the device for optimal results. It also comes with touch control and remote control settings that make the use of this humidifier even more convenient.

VicTsing Essential Oil Diffuser, 300ml Oil Diffuser with 7 Color Lights and 4 Timer, Aromatherapy Diffuser with Auto Shut-off Function, Cool Mist Humidifier BPA-Free for Bedroom Home

PROS

  • Features 4 Time Setting Modes, Ranging From 1 to 6 Hours
  • 2 Options That Allow You to Choose Between Standard and Strong Mist
  • Performs the Function of Humidifier and Diffuser in One, Saving You the Expense of Two Devices
  • 7 Different LED Lights With Soothing Colors, with Each Color Being Available in Dim and Bright Options to Meet Your Needs

CONS

  • Cleaning the Device Can Be a Hassle Requiring a Lot of Efforts

Our Review

VicTsing is, undoubtedly, one of the most popular brands when it comes to humidifiers, providing its buyers with nothing less than the absolute best. This cool mist ultrasonic humidifier is just another example of its efficient working and uniquely designed products.

This device by VicTsing is a diffuser and humidifier in one, allowing you not only to increase the humidity with the cool mist but also to add a soothing aroma to the room. This can be done by adding a couple of drops of essential oil to the water being used in the tank. The water can be used without any essential oil or aroma too.

The 300ml water capacity of the device allows it to function for six to eight hours. It also features a special waterless auto-off function that turns it off five seconds after all the water in the tank has been used up, to avoid burning out of the device.

Top Pick Between Air Purifier and Humidifier

It's important to understand that air purifiers and humidifiers, though they bear a few similarities, are still two different devices with two different functions. For either of them to be the best pick greatly depends upon the need of the person buying.

If you suffer from allergies or asthma, or in an area which generally has a lot of smoke in the air, then an air purifier is the more suitable option for you, especially the Alen BreatheSmart Classic Air purifier, as it will be sure to rid your surrounding air of whatever particles have been bothering you.

If your prime concern isn’t allergies, but the hot and dry climate that has rendered you prone to a chronic cough or an irritable respiratory tract, or even simply made your asthma worse, a humidifier is the right device to invest in and the VicTsing Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier is absolutely the perfect one. It will greatly increase the levels of humidity in your room up to a level that allows comfortable breathing, while ensuring not to over-humidify the air, not allowing any room for mold to grow.

Conclusion

Air purifiers and humidifiers both work to provide you easier breathing and better air quality, but in different ways, serving different functions. If you correctly evaluate your needs and invest in the right device, you will greatly benefit from it. You just need to make sure that you concentrate on the right aspects of each product.