What Are Air Purifiers with Humidifiers?

What Are Air Purifiers with Humidifiers?

Air purifiers are a tool in a growing arsenal of machines that help improve our air’s quality. Another machine that people often use to help them breathe is called a humidifier, and these machines put moisture into the air. Air purifiers are occasionally matched with humidifiers in one unit, which can really improve your home’s air quality.

Air purifiers are sometimes fitted with other machines in order to deliver the highest quality air for their owners. One such combination is an air purifier with a built-in humidifier. This unit will filter (clean) the air while increasing your home’s humidity (the air’s moisture content).

This tidbit of air purifier knowledge will inform you about the benefits of using a humidifier in your home, and when such a unit may or may not be needed. Some people may need to use a humidifier more than others, and we hope to guide you into finding which camp you fall into. We will focus upon air purifiers and humidifiers in this article, examining both the combination units and the individual ones.

dry skin

Why We Need Humidifiers

Anyone who has been in dry climates knows how miserable they can be. The irritation the lack of moisture causes to one’s skin, eyes, and breathing alone make a lot of people avoid places like deserts altogether. However, there is a reprieve to dry air, and that comes in the form of a humidifier.

Dry air can do a lot to impact your health and livelihood. When the air you’re breathing is dry, it also dries out your mucous membranes, which are your body’s front lines of defense against germs! When these membranes are dry, they can’t do their jobs, and that means you’ll be more apt to catch a cold or the flu. And if sickness isn’t enough to convince you of the harm caused by dry air, then how about cracking skin? Those who need lotion to prevent their skin from cracking open know the pain that it can cause. By increasing your home’s humidity, you can prevent these issues.

Increase Your Humidity In Your Home

Humidifiers are super effective at increasing your home’s humidity, saving your from the side effects of low humidity in your home. What is considered “low humidity?” Low humidity is generally anything below 30 percent moisture content in the air of your home. It is recommended to have your home’s air between 30 and 50 percent humidity.

Air purifiers are recommended to have in addition to your humidifier, especially if you suffer from allergies. Humidity can bring about allergen issues of its own, so an air purifier can really be an invaluable tool in combating your allergies. Because of this, a lot of manufacturers have begun making air purifier humidifier combination units.

The winter months can be the worst for a lot of people because low temperatures bring about low humidity. In fact, when there isn’t a lot of humidity in the air, some air purifiers actually struggle to keep the air clear of allergens. Some people deem it worth the cost to purchase humidifiers simply because of how miserable the winter months are for them.

Often times, people purchase humidifiers to help them get over colds as well! Because humidifiers add moisture to the air, they serve as a great help to help you combat congestion. With more moisture in the air, your mucous will stay moist, and be able to leave your body easier, rather than plug you up, leaving you feeling miserable.



As with most of your appliances, there is a risk in buying one machine that “does it all”. Oftentimes, if a machine claims to be able to do everything, it tends to do nothing great. Sometimes it is better to excel at one thing than to try to do everything.

Think of it this way, would you rather have someone help you do your taxes who is an accountant by trade, and really knows their way around taxes, or would you rather hire your plumber to help you with your taxes? Odds are, you’d prefer to work with a tax professional.

One Or Two Units?

The same can be true with your air purifier, which is also trying to be a humidifier! You may be better off buying two units, which will both do their one job very well than to buy just one unit which just barely manages to do its job. Some combo units can work great, but others do not.

Believe it or not, it can actually be cheaper and less risky to buy the two separate machines! Sounds too good to be true? Well, it isn’t, you can pick up a good air purifier for about 40 dollars, and a good humidifier for about the same price! The 2 in 1 humidifier purifier units can range from about 80 dollars to several hundred dollars. These units are all for a room that is about 200 square feet, which is about the size of your standard size room. Pricing generally goes up for larger machines than this, and down for smaller machines. But we find about 200 square feet is a good standard of measure.

By now, you may be asking yourself, “Do I really need to buy both units?” And, this really depends upon your specific needs, many households can really benefit from having both units. However, you can buy just one machine, be it the air purifier or the humidifier and still reap a lot of benefits. How do you decide which one you need more? Well, that’s up to you. Does dry air bother you more than your allergies?

Before we continue, we would like to mention a cheap option out there that may be of interest to you. Water-based air purifiers are oftentimes a lot cheaper than conventional air purifiers. Visit our posts that answer the questions “What is a Water-Based Air Purifier?” or “What Does a Water-Based Air Purifier Do?” to learn more about these machines. As we previously said, no air purifier that does everything will be exceptional at any one job, but at their price point, a water-based air purifier may be a worthwhile purchase.

Dry Air?

If dry air really bothers you, or you have a cold right now and need to get decongested so you can actually fall asleep, then you’ll probably benefit from getting a humidifier. Depending on how much that helps you, you can then decide to get an air purifier and discover the best of both worlds. However, you don’t have to, which is the best part of buying just one unit, rather than a combination one, or buying two separate ones. In addition to that, it can be a lot cheaper!

If your allergies are your biggest issue, then you’ll probably be better off getting an air purifier. These machines are great at addressing your allergies, and can do a lot more than that as well! If you have issues with odors in your home as well, then an air purifier will also be your best bet, as humidifiers can actually intensify odors. If odors are your biggest concern, we recommend finding an air purifier with a carbon filter and a HEPA filter to really fix your problem!

For those of you with problems that humidifiers and air purifiers address, then you might as well buy either a combination unit or both units. We’d recommend buying two separate ones because of what we’ve said above, plus it’s just fun to get more boxes in the mail!


We recommend looking at what the machine does first, some search engines for e-commerce sites will lump in just “air purifiers” and just “humidifiers” when you want a machine that does both. Once you confirm that the unit you are looking at will do everything you need it to, look at customer reviews! If the machine has all negative reviews, then odds are you will have a negative experience as well, we recommend looking for machines with about a 4-5 star rating.

What if it has a 3-star rating? Practice discernment on machines with ratings like these, oftentimes they get these ratings because some people love them and others hate them. A 3-star rating usually doesn’t mean that everyone feels “neutral” with the machine!

It is important to pay attention to what others have to say about the air purifier you are looking at. We have an article that further tells of the importance of looking into customer feedback and consumer reports that should help you learn more about the importance of looking into these inside looks at the air purifier you are considering!

Other factors to keep in mind when you are looking at a machine are, of course, cost, looks, and warranties. A lot of air cleaning machines out there have some impressive warranties, which can extend for several years and be very encompassing, which is a fantastic value adding trait.

In addition to these concerns, we recommend making a few other checks to the unit you are looking at. The biggie is “Is this unit rated for the room I’m putting it in?” Essentially, this normally boils down to how large of a room the unit is rated for, be sure to get a machine that can handle the size of the room you’re putting it in. Another thing to consider is the estimated arrival date, which can be several months out with some manufacturers. This can really be a problem if you want your machine right away!

If you are unsure how to calculate how large your room is, check out our article that will walk you through the (quick) process of calculating it! This article is entitled “What Are the Numbers For Air Purifiers?” This article will take you step by step through the different equations you may need to look at when you are buying your air purifier!


Long story short, ionizers simply help to clean the air in your home by adding an extra layer to your air cleaning capabilities. Check out our article on air purifiers with built-in ionizers for more information on these units!

Ionizers are nifty addition which sometimes comes with air purifiers. They attach negatively charged ions (which are sometimes called anions) to oxygen. What does this do, and why should you care? Well, these negatively charged particles will attach themselves to positively charged harmful particles. This makes it easier for the air purifier to capture them, or it will cause them to sink to the ground, where you can just vacuum them up.

Did you know that air ionizers can actually be harmful to small children? Many ionizers release a gas called ozone, which can damage your lungs! The amount of ozone released by ionizers is generally disregarded because it is so small, but that little amount can do alot to a newborn whose lungs are still developing. To learn more about this, check out our post that answers the question of “Are Air Purifiers Safe For Babies?” This article will tell you what to look for in a baby-safe air purifier.


Humidifiers do have issues. Namely the fact that humidity attracts bacteria, mold, mildew, and gives a nice breeding ground for bedbugs and fleas. This is why people are advised to have an air purifier with their humidifier. Keep our home’s humidity below 50 percent, which is sort of the magic number to stay below.

draining the dehumidifier

In addition to this, humidifiers can grow mold, fungi, and mildew, which can adversely affect your health. The best way to avoid this is to ensure that you clean your machine regularly. Ensuring these moisture related banes cannot take hold. You will need to refill the water in your humidifier. This is easy to forget if you don’t make a habit of it.


If your air is already too humid, then what you will need is a dehumidifier, not a humidifier. A dehumidifier does the opposite of a humidifier, it takes moisture out of the air, see our post on the subject if humidity is an issue for you!

If your home’s air is above 50 percent, then it is too humid. Things like bedbugs, mold, dust mites and other allergens will be rampant. When you are between 30 and 50 percent, you are in the sweet spot, congratulations! If you are in the sweet spot, you may just want to purchase an air purifier.

If you’d like to learn more about the difference between a dehumidifier and a humidifier and which one you might need, please be sure to check out this article that I wrote! How Do I Know if I Need a Dehumidifier or a Humidifier? | What’s the Right Humidity for My Home?

Frequently Asked Questions

What Room Should I Put my Air Purifier in?

It is widely recommended to put your air purifier in your home office, living room, or bedroom. It all depends on where you spend the most of your time when you are at home. After all, what would the point be in cleaning the air in your basement, if you never go down there? Just consider where you would be able to enjoy the benefits of your new air purifying unit the most!

What is the Difference Between an Air Purifier vs. a Dehumidifier?

An air purifier does just that: it purifiers the air. A dehumidifier on the other hand simply takes moisture out of the air. Dehumidifiers do help with allergies, since many allergens thrive in humid areas, but they do not clean the air itself. There are air purifier machines with built in dehumidifiers, which can equate to waging nuclear war with your allergens. These combo units will do wonders to your home’s air if you live in a humid area. Humid rooms in your home (like a bathroom and kitchen) will also feel better.

Can Air Purifiers Take Care of Cat Hair?

Yes, air purifiers take care of cat hair, dog hair, and hare hair! They can capture stuff a lot smaller than that too, including pet dander. Air purifiers also freshen up your home’s air, cutting down on common odors that plague pet owner’s homes. Now you can have your furry family members indoors and not have to worry about what guests will smell.

How do Air Purifiers Work?

There are several different methods that are utilized in air purifiers. These include carbon and fabric filters, static electricity, screens, heat, UV light, and more. Air purifying machines run surrounding air through themselves, sifting out all of the particulates in the air and capturing them. The resulting air that they release is freshly cleaned.

Where Should I Shop for an Air Purifier?

We recommend shopping online, regardless where you plan buying your actual air purifier. This is simply because of the fact that you will have the most exposure of every offer out there. Online stores provide you with customer reviews, which can make all the difference on your final decision.

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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