What are the Differences Between Dehumidifier and Humidifier?

When you see the words humidifier vs. dehumidifier, not everything is a competition. Sometimes those words tell about the different uses each device brings to your home. Each device has specific uses that help make your home more comfortable.

Getting the right information is essential if you are going to get the correct unit to handle your humidity issues. The best way to get that vital information is through asking the right questions. You will find the answers to those questions in this article. All you have to do is continue to read it.

What is the Difference Between a Humidifier and a Dehumidifier?

The humidifier adds moisture to the air through the expulsion of cool or warm air. When its job is done its water tank should be empty. A dehumidifier works by removing excess moisture from a room and its water tank will be full when it is done.

Also a humidifier helps hydrate the skin, assist with treating respiratory infection like alleviating stuffed nasal passages, dry cough and sore throats. On the other hand, a dehumidifier helps stop mold and mildew from growing in your home as well as the rotting of wood products in a given room.

Each device has different methods of operation and the humidifier is usually cheaper but more expensive to maintain than the dehumidifier.

Is a Humidifier or Dehumidifier Better for Asthma?

People with asthma always ask this question. Actually, neither device is better than the other when it comes to asthma. If you use a humidifier only, you may get too much moisture in your room allowing bacteria and other harmful elements to grow and trigger an asthma attack.

Plus, very humid air makes it difficult to breathe. Yet, you cannot rely solely on a dehumidifier either. Too little moisture in a room makes it hard to control your asthma symptoms. Your nose and throat may become more irritated.

This head to head comparison results in a tie. It will be the asthma you have and its triggers that will dictate which device you use.

Do I Need a Humidifier or Dehumidifier for Allergies

One of the more common triggers for allergies are dust mites. They just love high humidity rooms and they live in a variety of comfortable spots in your home. Dehumidifiers help control those allergy triggers and keep them from nesting in your home

Humidifiers help relieve allergy symptoms yet they also create an environment for those allergy triggers to thrive. If you use a humidifier then you may find it difficult to find the right balance of indoor humidity levels that help your allergies while keeping those triggers away.

In this case, a dehumidifier would be best.

Do I Need a Dehumidifier or Humidifier for Baby?

This is another situation where you would need both devices, depending on your geographical location. Too much humidity and too much dry air can be difficult for any young child to handle and these humid conditions change with the seasons.

In the winter when you turn the heat up, the air dries out and becomes hard for the baby to breathe. This is the season you need a cool mist humidifier (warm mist units are not recommended for children). The summer season may be a different story especially when you live in a very muggy geographical area.

In the summer too much humidity may not be healthy for your baby. Thus you should invest in a dehumidifier to help keep the humidity levels down to comfortable levels.

During the Spring and Fall seasons, you would have to play those by ear. You may have to use one device one day or week and the other the next day or week. Your situation will dictate their use.

Air Purifier vs Humidifier vs Dehumidifier: Which is Better?

We have already described what a dehumidifier and humidifier are. Here we will just describe what an air purifier is and does before saying which one is better.

An air purifier’s role is to simply purify the indoor air. Its mechanism draws the room’s air through a filter which removes allergy and asthma triggers as well as bacteria and other germs from the room. That filter also removes smoke, mold and other pollutants.

In essence, the air purifier only purifies the air. It does not add nor subtract moisture. While the dehumidifier may trap some of those particles its job is mainly to remove moisture. The humidifier’s job is to add moisture and does not remove impurities from the air at all.

None of these machines are really better than the other. They have specific roles to play and they do those roles well. The design of the air purifier makes it a good partner to both the humidifier and the dehumidifier.

Are Air Purifiers, Humidifiers and Dehumidifiers Expensive?

Each different device will come in a range of prices due to the fact that they come in a variety of sizes and square foot capabilities. The air purifier price ranges between $200 and $900 but their filters can also be costly which run between $20 to $200 depending on the filter’s design.

Humidifier’s price tag depends on the model you buy and if you are having professionals install it. For small units, you are looking at around $80 to $100 at a big box store. Professional humidifiers may cost between $200 and $400 and up with installation expenses added to that price.

Dehumidifiers run about the same as humidifiers and their cost depends on which model you buy. Maintenance cost for both the dehumidifier and humidifier are about the same with the biggest expense coming in electricity used.


There are great benefits to owning any one or all three of these devices. Your lifestyle will be greatly improved when you employ the right device for your geographical location.

If you are one of the lucky ones who lives in an area where the humidity doesn’t change that much then all you may need is an air purifier to help you improve the air quality. It will be your situation that guides you to the right device for you, your family and your home

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My name is Justin Williams. I am the founder and blogger at TheDehumidifierExperts.com (read more about us). I was an allergy sufferer and that is also the reason why I began my trek to finding the best dehumidifier for my own personal health issues. All of the dehumidifier top picks on the site were put through their paces by Lance Perez - our dehumidifier researcher. He put each one through a series of tests to see how well they performed. Then, our editorial team compiled the insights into articles and published them.

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