Should I Get a Water-Based Air Purifier for My Baby?


Just about everyone could benefit from using an air purifier thanks to the fact that indoor air can be so polluted. Babies are no different.

But, believe it or not, infants, toddlers, and children can all benefit more than adults by being around air purifiers. That is because their lungs haven’t fully developed, so they are more susceptible to all the trash that is floating in the air around them.

So, we can admit that our children need air purifiers, but that leads to the question of what kind of air purifier? Is a water-based air purifier a good option for children?

Water-based air purifiers, or air revitalizers as they are also called, can be a great choice for babies and children because they clean the air and add a light amount of humidity as they do so. Their ability to double as an oil diffuser furthers their usefulness.

It must be noted, however, that water-based air purifiers are not the best at cleaning the air or at humidifying the air.

But, if that’s the case, then what are they good for?

To answer that question, I have to dive in a little bit deeper.

Traditional Air Purifiers Vs. Water-Based Air Purifiers

Traditional air purifiers use something called mechanical filters, which are solid-state filters that you can touch with your hands. Most of these are made with paper, fabric, or fiberglass. The best of the solid-state mechanical filters that you’ll see are called HEPA filters and they come in several different levels.

HEPA filters have to be able to capture 99.97% of particles .3 microns and larger. However, there are many that can do a lot better than that.

Meanwhile, water-based air purifiers only use water as their filter. They have no other filtration besides that. Because of this, they aren’t able to capture nearly as much stuff as your traditional air purifiers, however, that isn’t to say that they don’t work.

You see, water is actually quite sticky on the molecular level, so it actually works pretty well as a filter. In fact, there are a lot of air filters used in woodshops and elsewhere because it works so well.

But, because water isn’t nearly as effective as a HEPA filter, most people overlook it and go on to say that water-based air purifiers are utterly useless. Which I find interesting because there are a lot of people who say that HEPA filters are useless and say it is because they are overkill for the average person.

For me, I think both HEPA filters and water-based air purifiers are great and serve their purposes, however. This is because not everyone needs HEPA-level cleaning but they might want cleaner air for a very low cost. Water-based air cleaners provide cleaner air for a very low cost. Simultaneously, some people will want HEPA-level cleanliness in the air in their homes, and they have plenty of options for that!

At the end of the day, both air cleaners have their places.

Water-based air purifiers can capture dust, allergens, and other larger particles with ease while also offering their other benefits.

Air purifiers with HEPA filters do that, and a whole lot more, but without the added benefits water air purifiers have and also with a potentially higher cost.

Traditional Air Humidifiers Vs. Water-Based Air Purifiers

Traditional humidifiers dominantly use either heat to evaporatorate the water in them, or ultrasonic vibrations to shoot it up into the air. The end result for both is that water is sent out into the room around them in the form of steam or a mist which increases the humidity in the room.

A water-based air purifier doesn’t utilize either of these methods to add humidity to the room, which is one of the reasons why it isn’t nearly as effective as a humidifier. The way that air revitalizers add humidity is they splash water around inside of themselves while passing air over it. I know it doesn’t sound like that would do much, but it does increase the humidity enough that it is detectable (by both humans and by sensors).

If you need to increase the humidity in your home by a large margin, then water-based air purifiers are not the way to go at all. A water-based air purifier is only good at slightly increasing your home’s humidity and it will make the air a bit more refreshing. Water-based air purifiers are not humidifiers, however. But they don’t try to be, they’re sort of their own thing.

As is the case with the previous comparison, water-based air purifiers are often cheaper than their counterpart in this comparison as well. Additionally, they will likely use less water in the long run as well. However, you will likely need to wash your water-based air purifier more than you’ll have to wash humidifier, since the water-based air purifier is collecting junk from the air around it as it cleans it.

Traditional Oil Diffusers Vs. Water-Based Air Purifiers

As with the previous two comparisons, water-based air purifiers are not as effective as their counterpart in this one either. Traditional oil diffusers will put out a lot more oil a lot faster than any water-based air revitalizer ever will.

However, air revitalizers do have a leg up in this comparison. That leg up is that (from my own experience) the essential oil scent lingers in a water-based air purifier much longer. While the scent isn’t nearly as strong when you add the same number of drops, the scent does last a lot longer.

And, if you’d like a stronger scent, you can always add a bunch of essential oil to make the smell a lot stronger, but I’ve never done more than maybe a dozen to the whole water basin. Because of this, the oil is much more diluted than what you’d get in an oil diffuser which explains why the scent isn’t as strong for me. That being said, I don’t like doing too much because there’s a chance some will be wasted when I have to wash my air revitalizer.

Curious how often you should clean your water-based air purifier? Check out this article here.
Curious how to clean your water-based air purifier? I’ve got an article for you here as well.

Unlike my previous two examples, air revitalizers and essential oil diffusers are around the same price, which is interesting.

Are Water-Based Air Purifiers Worth it?

I know I haven’t brought forth a great argument for water-based air purifiers just yet, but that’s for good reason, they aren’t the world’s best at any of the individual tasks above. However, where they shine is in the fact that they do all three jobs well enough that the effect of a water-based air purifier can be quickly felt in the room around them when they are in use.

Even when I run my water-based air purifier in a room that’s a whole lot larger than what it’s rated for, I still end up noticing its impact on the air quality.

These things really are the little engine that could.

The fact that water-based air purifiers are so cheap to buy and operate is another mark in their favor.

Another bonus is that they are actually quite entertaining to watch (at least for a bit). Odds are that, if you put it in your child’s room, they will spend a long time watching it and get lulled to sleep. After all, air revitalizers are very peaceful-looking machines that make the air around them much more soothing as well.

Should I Get an Air Revitalizer for My Baby’s Room?

If you don’t have a severe low humidity problem and if your child doesn’t have any severe allergies, then a water-based air purifier would be a great addition to their nursery.

The fact that they make the air feel much fresher and more soothing makes for a better environment for them to fall asleep in, and the ability you have to add essential oils that will be slowly diffused over several hours is a wonderful bonus.

I think water-based air purifiers are some of the coolest machines out there, and I will continue buying them and using them for years to come.

If you’d like to buy a water-based air purifier, then I’d recommend the machine that I’ve been using for so long.

This air revitalizer is made by a company called JACLEAN, and it works amazing. I’ve had no issues with the unit since I bought it a few years ago.

You can pick it up on Amazon here.

And, if you’re planning on using essential oils in it, then you can pick up a combo pack of oils for pretty cheap on Amazon here. For the record, I highly recommend adding maybe 14 drops of lemongrass and about 10 drops of orange. It smells like Fruit Loops and I love it.

With all of that said, thanks for the read and for spending your time here! If you’d like to continue reading up on this, be sure to check out one of my other articles below.

Air Purifiers Vs. Humidifiers for Baby: What’s the Difference and Which Do I Need?

What is a Water Based Air Purifier? | The Pros & Cons of Water Air Revitalizers

What Does a Water Air Purifier Do? | The Surprising Benefits of Using Water as an Air Filter

What Is the Best Air Purifier That I Can Buy? | Water Based Air Purifier Buying Guide

How Well do Water-Based Air Purifiers Work?

Air Purifiers Vs. Humidifiers for Baby: What’s the Difference?

Jonathon Silva

Jonathan Silva is our longtime Air Purifier Essentials author. He has been writing on air purification technologies for his entire professional career.

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