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White air purifier in a living room with a grey cat on a dark red rug

Dehumidifiers vs Air Purifiers: What’s the Difference?

If you suffer from respiratory symptoms like asthma or allergies or have a pesky mold problem you’re looking to get rid of, it makes sense to be comparing dehumidifiers vs air purifiers to help solve it. So which is better, an air purifier or a dehumidifier? Both options can help but depending on your ultimate goal, one will be a better solution than the other.

In this article, we’ll clear the air on key differences and benefits between dehumidifiers and air purifiers to help you determine which one will be the right fit for you.

Is an Air Purifier the Same as a Dehumidifier? Let's Look at an Air Purifier!

Air purifiers, also known as air sanitizers, are designed to cleanse and remove indoor pollutants such as pollen, smoke, dust, and other particles from the air. To do this, they use different types of filters to trap particles and remove them from the air, leaving it sanitized and fresh to breathe.

It accomplishes this by using a fan to pull air through a filter (or several filters). Depending on the air purifier you purchase there are many different types of filters it can come equipped with to accomplish a certain goal. HEPA air purifier filters capture physical particles like dust, pet dander, pollen, and mold spores. Activated carbon filters are effective at cleansing the air of bad smells, odors, and certain types of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as chemicals and smoke. While UV filters use strong forces of light to kill germs and bacteria.

White air purifier sitting in front of a window with brown shades and a vase of flowers next to it

What is a Dehumidifier and How does it Work?

Dehumidifiers function differently than air purifiers. They work by pulling in moisture from the air and expelling cool, dry air back into the room. The purpose of a dehumidifier is to control the humidity in a particular space to decrease condensation. This helps to reduce the ability of mold and bad smells to develop by keeping the humidity levels low and the air dry.

If you allow too much humidity to stay present in a room it can become damp and cause a variety of problems. Problems including musty odors, mold, and mildew growth, which can lead to structural damage to your home due to rotting wood and building materials. Dehumidifiers are often used by homeowners and professionals to prevent these problems by removing excess moisture from the air and making your home a more comfortable and safe environment.

White dehumidifier sitting in living room with woman and orange cat sitting in background next to couch

Benefits of Air Purifiers

Air purifiers have been proven to be significantly effective at removing airborne particles and odors to improve the quality of the air you breathe. Some of the many benefits of air purifiers include:

  • Better air quality: Air purifiers can help improve your home’s air quality by capturing hazardous particles from the air like allergens and various pollutants like smoke and VOCs. Better air quality can help to reduce the risk of future respiratory issues by making it safer for you to breathe.
  • Decreased allergens: Air purifiers can control and even reduce allergens in the air to help people that suffer from asthma or allergies feel more relief and improve their overall health.
  • Better sleep: If you have trouble sleeping, an air purifier can help improve your nights by removing airborne pollutants that can irritate your body while you sleep, leading to a better night’s rest.
  • Increased odor control: Air purifiers can help remove many different types of smells from the air, leaving your home or office feeling fresh and clean. If your home suffers from bad odors, then read Do Air Purifiers Help With Smell? to find out the most common odors air purifiers can help prevent.

Benefits of Dehumidifiers

Dehumidifiers are very effective at reducing humidity in the air to protect against mold and mildew. Some of the main benefits of dehumidifiers include:

  • Improved air quality: Dehumidifiers can help improve air quality by removing excess moisture from the room, making it easier to breathe and decreasing the risk of future health problems.
  • Decreased mold and mildew: Dehumidifiers can help to reduce the likelihood of developing a mold or mildew problem by continuously removing excess moisture in the air.

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

While dehumidifiers and air purifiers serve different purposes, they both are proven to improve indoor air quality in their own way. But to determine which one is right for you depends on the environment you’re looking to cleanse.

If your home struggles with dampness or mold, and you find yourself regularly battling condensation, then a dehumidifier is going to be your best option. It’ll reduce the room's humidity to eliminate the condensation and dampness, while ultimately killing mold and bacteria by creating an inhospitable environment for them to grow.

However, if you have trouble with allergies, or asthma, or want to remove a variety of smells plaguing your home, then an air purifier is going to be your best bet. It’ll capture several airborne particles like dust, pet dander, mold spores, and odors to sanitize the air of hazardous particles potentially affecting your health.

Are Air Purifiers and Dehumidifiers the Same? Let's Wrap It Up!

Both air purifiers and dehumidifiers can be great options when used for the right purposes but they are different. If your home suffers from excess humidity, then a dehumidifier will be for you. But if you’re constantly battling airborne particulates, then an air purifier is going to be your best bet. And if your home is fighting both, then it doesn’t hurt to get both and run them at the same time!

Did you decide on an air purifier but don’t know which one to get? Check out our updated list of the best air purifiers to find the right fit for you.

Still, have questions? Speak with our team of world-class air purifier experts at (877) 791-8083 or shoot us an email at and we’d be happy to help.

Frequently Asked Questions — Which is Better?

Which is better, an air purifier vs dehumidifier for mold?

Both an air purifier and a dehumidifier can help with mold but in different ways. A dehumidifier works by removing excess moisture from the air, which can prevent mold growth. On the other hand, an air purifier can remove mold spores and other allergens from the air, helping to improve indoor air quality. If you have an existing mold problem, it's best to use a dehumidifier to remove the moisture that mold needs to grow, and then use an air purifier to remove any remaining mold fragments.

Which is better, a dehumidifier or air purifier for allergies?

Both a dehumidifier and an air purifier can help alleviate allergy symptoms, but an air purifier may be more effective. Air purifiers can remove allergens such as pollen, pet dander, and dust mites from the air, reducing exposure to these allergens. A dehumidifier, on the other hand, can help reduce mold, which can be a significant allergen for some people. It's best to use both a dehumidifier and an air purifier to get the maximum benefit for allergies.

Which is better, an air purifier vs dehumidifier for asthma?

An air purifier can be beneficial for people with asthma as it can remove allergens and irritants from the air that can trigger asthma symptoms. A dehumidifier can also help alleviate asthma symptoms by reducing mold, which can be a significant allergen for some people with asthma. It's best to use both an air purifier and a dehumidifier to get the maximum benefit for asthma.

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