Informational Guide

Air Purifier Vs Dehumidifier: Pros & Cons For Air Quality

We have compared air purifier vs dehumidifier for the home to see which is best for you in terms of mold, dust and more.

by Holly Curell

Many people are spending more time at home and focusing more on home health, such as indoor air quality. Many of you have probably heard of both dehumidifiers and air purifiers, but what exactly is the difference between these two machines?

They’re both essential to indoor air quality. Check out our guide to see which one is best for your needs.

These types of machines can be used to lower the humidity indoors to the suggested 30 to 50%. They remove water from the air by using the same principles that we learned in high school science class.

A dehumidifier works by drawing in warm air. Once the warm air is inside the machine, it creates condensation. The condensation is stored in a tank on the side of the machine.

Colder, drier air is pushed back out through a fan. Some dehumidifiers have a humidistat that can monitor the humidity in the air and adjust accordingly.

Condensate Dehumidifiers

How Air Purifiers Clean Air

Your indoor air contains more contaminants than you know. The best way to combat these harmful substances is to use a home air purifier.

They work by pulling polluted air into the machine and running it through a series of filters to remove impurities. The clean air is then pushed back out through a fan.

How Air Purifiers Clean Air

Types of Filters

  • Prefilter
    This filter is used as the first line of defense. It is usually washable and catches large particles such as dust and pet hair.
  • HEPA filter
    A true HEPA filter removes 99.7% of contaminants that are 0.3 microns or larger. It can remove bacteria, mold, pet dander, and dust mites.
  • Carbon filter
    These filters are primarily used to remove gases and odors. They push air through a bed of activated charcoal or carbon to remove odors such as smoke or cooking odors.

Dehumidifiers Vs. Air Purifiers: Compared For Various Uses

For Basements

Basements can hold excess moisture when the surrounding soil becomes wet. If you have excess moisture in your basement, then you should invest in a dehumidifier to bring the humidity level down to an acceptable range.

We also recommend getting an air purifier after you remove the moisture so that you can remove any mold spores or bacteria that has grown.

For Removing Mold

If you currently have a mold problem, then we recommend removing the mold while using an air purifier. An air purifier will remove the mold spores while you work on removing the mold on physical surfaces.

If the source of your mold problem was the humidity, then we recommend purchasing a dehumidifier so that it doesn’t happen again in the future.

If you don’t have an issue with mold growth, but you want to ensure that spores do not enter your indoor air environment, then buy an air purifier.

For Allergies

We recommend an air purifier for seasonal and environmental allergies. Air purifiers work to remove allergens caused by pets, smoke, bacteria, and pollen.

The best option for allergy sufferers is an air purifier that comes with a true HEPA and carbon filter to remove 99.7% of contaminants. The best options will come with a prefilter, carbon, HEPA, and a UV light.

You only want the best for your kids, which is why we recommend both an air purifier and a dehumidifier for their room. An air purifier can help them stay healthy by removing all of the harmful contaminants that could make them sick.

A dehumidifier will maintain the proper levels of humidity to keep them comfortable and free of dry skin. Some air purifiers and dehumidifiers can be used as diffusers that provide soothing or healing scents.

For Dust Mites

For this common problem, we recommend an air purifier that will remove dust and mites from the air before returning it to the environment. You should invest in an air purifier that comes with a true HEPA filter, which removes particles that are larger than 0.3 microns.

Dust mites are typically between 0.5 and 50 microns. Your air purifier should also come with a dust prefilter.

For Smoke

If you want to remove tobacco or cooking smoke, we recommend an air purifier. The best air purifiers for this job will have a high smoke CADR number. The higher the number, the more effective it is at removing smoke.

We recommend an air purifier with a carbon or charcoal filter since they remove odors. A true HEPA filter will also help remove smoke and other odors.

People Also Ask (FAQ)

Will a dehumidifier clean the air?

A dehumidifier does not clean the air by removing impurities. A dehumidifier removes excess moisture and can prevent mold and bacterial growth.

Do air purifiers dehumidify?

An air purifier does not remove excess moisture from the air. An air purifier circulates the air and removes contaminants such as bacteria, mold spores, and odors.

How do air purifiers and dehumidifiers compare in terms of price?

Dehumidifiers generally cost slightly more than air purifiers since they contain a compressor. Some air purifiers, depending on the brand and filtration level, may cost hundreds of dollars. Dehumidifiers tend to cost more when they have a compressor and cover a larger surface area.

Can you use a dehumidifier and air purifier in the same room?

Yes, you can use both machines in the same room at the same time. We recommend this for people who want the most comfortable and clean indoor air environment. Dehumidifiers increase comfort levels by keeping the air in the desired humidity range. Air purifiers work to remove pollutants that are often found in indoor air.

Can you buy a combo product that does both of these air tasks?

Yes, there are some combo dehumidifiers and air purifiers. These options can be the best of both worlds for some consumers. They are also relatively affordable.

Are these products considered safe to use at home?

Yes, these products are considered safe to use at home. They should always be operated safely and placed in the correct place in your home. We recommend placing your machine away from the walls. Some air purifiers produce a very small amount of ozone. They are still safe to use at home, however.


In this article, we’ve discussed the differences between air purifiers and dehumidifiers. We have also provided you with some guidelines for which machine works best for which occasion. If you are in the market for a new air purifier or dehumidifier, keep these tips in mind while shopping.

Last Updated on June 29, 2022

Holly Curell

Holly Curell is an experienced writer whose work includes technical manuals, blog articles, and more. With a young family at home, her focus is on safe and efficient heating and cooling products that provide the best value for money. When she’s not writing, Holly enjoys reading, hiking, and the odd glass of wine. Read more about our team here.