Air Purifier vs Dehumidifier: Which One is Better for You?

air purifier vs dehumidifier

Are you tired of constantly sneezing and feeling sick in your seemingly clean room?

If yes, it could be due to contaminants in the air. However, there’s no need to worry because you have a perfect solution with options like an air purifier and dehumidifier. You’re probably wondering what these do and which one is better for – the air purifier vs dehumidifier. If this is the case, keep reading!

In this post, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about how air purifiers and dehumidifiers work. Additionally, we’ll find out know their differences, which one is better for you, and give you the answer to your common questions.

Air Purifier vs Dehumidifier: How They Work?

At first glance, it might seem like both these appliances do the same thing. However, they work slightly differently. Let’s see how.

Air Purifier

Air purifier’s primary function, as the name suggests, is to purify the air. It cleans your room or house’s air of harmful contaminants by continuously circulating the air. The electronic device has special filters inside, which can catch particles. Depending on the type of filter used, the air purifier can get rid of various kinds of airborne contaminants.

The air purifier can trap any dust mites, chemicals, bacteria, allergens, pet dander, and similar pollutants in the air to make it cleaner. If there’s any damp or musty smell in the house, the air purifier can help get rid of those as well. Moreover, it can help prevent molds as its filters can catch mold spores in the air.

In addition, you can find a wide range of air purifier models and types, including advanced versions with an activated carbon filter. This is good for dealing with bad smells in the house. Moreover, you can find the air purifier with a reusable filter as well, such as HEPA filter. HEPA filter can catch particles as small as 0.3 microns in size, which makes it even more efficient.


A dehumidifier can also purify the air, but it works a little differently. Its primary purpose is to reduce humidity or moisture level in the air. As a result, it can prevent the growth of harmful bacteria, which ultimately leads to cleaner air.

These devices mostly come with a sensor, which monitors the humidity level in the basement or room. Once that level is reached – ideally 50% – the dehumidifier activates. It pulls in the air and extracts excessive moisture from it, which is then collected and drained away. Since contaminants, such as dust mites and mold, need moisture to thrive, the dehumidifier can prevent their growth.

Dehumidifiers can be desiccant and electronic. Moreover, your air conditioners also serve as a kind of dehumidifier, as they function based on the same principle.

Difference Between Air Purifier and Dehumidifier

The only significant difference between the air purifier and dehumidifier is how they work. The air purifier circulates and filters the air, catching harmful bacteria and microbes.
The dehumidifier reduces excessive moisture in the air prevents microorganisms from growing in the first place.

However, the air purifier does a slightly better job of purifying the air as it also filters contaminants that have nothing to do with the humidity. Ultimately, both lead to cleaner and healthier air for you to breathe.

Air Purifier or Dehumidifier: Which One Do You Actually Need?

Since they operate a little differently, they also target different things. Therefore, when comparing the air purifier vs dehumidifier, you will choose the option for you depending on your own needs and circumstances. Generally, if you just want to get rid of some damp smell or you need a dust remover machine, both devices can do the trick.

However, if you suffer from allergy or asthma, and you require the cleanest air possible, the air purifier is better for you. If you have a pet, you’ll need air purifier or air scrubber to remove all pet hair. If you’re an allergy sufferer and want to remove damp, the dehumidifier is the best.

Related article: Best Water Based Air Purifiers

Frequently Asked Questions About Air Purifiers and Dehumidifiers

Here are some commonly asked questions about dehumidifiers and air purifiers.

Can you use an air purifier or dehumidifier in your basement?

Both can be used in your basement. If there aren’t any windows or the air quality isn’t that good, the air purifier is your choice. You can use the dehumidifier for the basement to get rid of bad odors or musty smells.

How long should the air purifier run?

The running time of the air purifier varies from model to model. Moreover, it also depends on your timetable. If you spend the whole day at home, you might have to run the air purifier for longer periods.

On the other hand, if you spend a significant portion of the day outside, for example at the office, you don’t need to run the air purifier all the time. With that said, you can run the air purifier for about ten to twelve hours a day.

Do air purifiers or dehumidifiers help you sleep?

If you are having trouble sleeping due to breathing issues, air purifiers or dehumidifiers can help you sleep. They improve air quality making it easier to breathe and reduce sleep interruptions for better, deeper sleep.

Can air purifiers or dehumidifiers be harmful?

Since air purifiers simply filter the air, they are mostly harmless. However, dehumidifiers can be harmful if misused. If the humidity level is already low, and you run the dehumidifier, it will decrease the moisture level even further. This can cause skin problems and generally make you feel uncomfortable.

Can the air purifier and dehumidifier be used at the same time?

Yes, you can use both at the same time and in the same room without worrying about one affecting the other’s performance. For instance, if you’re wondering which you should get – air purifier or dehumidifier for mold – you can get both. One will remove mold particles, and another will stop it from coming back.

Whether it’s for allergies or just because you live in a very humid environment, both devices can do wonders. You might not notice any changes right away, but over time, you’ll see a remarkable improvement in your health and the surrounding environment. Furthermore, now that you know everything, all that’s left to do is buy one for yourself.