Humidifier and Dehumidifier: What’s the Difference

Humidity levels ranging from 30% to 50% is recommended for good health. But maintaining this required amount of humidity indoors becomes very difficult in most cases. Most of the time, you experience either too much moisture or dry heat due to weather change, pollution, and situation. This is when humidifiers and dehumidifiers make your jobs easy.

Humidifiers are capable of increasing the humidity level in the given space while dehumidifiers are known to reduce the level of humidity in the air. But before anything, you need a hygrometer to determine the humidity level of the particular area you stay in. Once you decide on that, you can make your choice between a humidifier and a dehumidifier.

There are several differences between a humidifier and a dehumidifier. All of them are discussed in detail below. To make the perfect choice between the two appliances, read on.

What is a Humidifier and What are its Types?

In areas with low humidity, chapped lips, dry and itchy skin are all common. The humidifiers help to increase the level of humidity in a given area. Therefore, helping moisten the skin and clear the nasal passages. They are really effective for the winter months and places with a colder climate.


The humidifiers can broadly be classified into two types. They are all discussed below.

  • Warm mist humidifiers: The warm mist humidifiers can be of one kind and they are the steam humidifiers. This is a simple and common kind of humidifier. It boils water to provide steam in the provided space. Several products like the medical inhalants and anti-bacterial and aromatic products can be added to the water before boiling.
  • Cool mist humidifiers: There are three kinds of cool mist humidifiers. They are all discussed further.
  • Evaporative humidifiers: This is a makeshift air conditioner. They use a wick to collect water from the container. A fan blows on the wick to evaporate the water. It is suitable to serve at a lower temperature.
  • Impeller humidifiers: They use a diffuser and a rotating disc to create a firm foggy mist. They spray the water in the air by making tiny droplets of them.
  • Ultrasound humidifiers: They use a membranous or solid diaphragm to vibrate at ultrasonic speed. This breaks down water into tiny droplets. The fan blows the water out as fog. They are quiet as the sound range is inaudible to human ears.

What is a Dehumidifier and What are its Types?

A place with higher humidity and high temperature needs to lower the level of moisture in the air. Moist air increases the growth of molds, spores, and dust mites. This can hence aggravate asthma and allergy. A dehumidifier helps to decrease the humidity level of the air.


There are several types of dehumidifiers. All of them are mentioned below.

  • Refrigerative/ Mechanical: The most common kind of dehumidifier functions by rotating a small fan to pull the moist air over the refrigerated coil. The condensation is then collected on the coil and is stored in the collecting space. These dehumidifiers function the best when the temperature is above 19°C and the humidity level is exceeding 45%.
  • Desiccant/ Absorption: The desiccants are things that can easily absorb the moisture in the air. In these dehumidifiers, the desiccant is usually on a belt and is rotated in the air. They are ideal for areas with high humidity but low temperature. They are also useful for industrial processes as the humidity content can be reduced under 35%.
  • Electronic: This type of dehumidifier has a peltier belt so that the water vapour from the atmosphere can be collected. This type is soundless as it does not have any moving parts. It also has lower efficiency. It is suitable for smaller areas.
  • Ionic membrane: The special ionic membranes in these dehumidifiers help to pump water molecules out of the air. No water is visually produced but the humidity is reduced. These are effective for fuel cells and water filtering.

Humidifier vs Dehumidifier

Basis Humidifiers Dehumidifiers 
ObjectiveTo increase the
humidity level of a given space.
To decrease the
humidity level of a
given space.
UseDuring the winter or
the cold months,
when the air is dry.
Effective for a single
room or the whole house. 
During hot and
humid months,
when the air is
humid. Effective for
a single room or the
whole house. 
ApplicationKnown to moisten
the dry skin and
clear nasal passages.
These are common
things caused by the
dry climate
Known to reduce
the allergy by
getting rid of
mildew, dust mites,
and molds present
in the air. 
Humidity levelsNeeded when the levelof humidity is less than 35%.Needed when the level of humidity is more than 50%.
KindsWarm mist and cool mistAir conditioner,
nical, electronic,
makeshift, ionic

All the differences are discussed in detail below. Do have a look.


The humidifier and the dehumidifier have different purposes. The purpose of the humidifier is to increase the humidity of the given space. On the other hand, the purpose of the dehumidifier is to lower the humidity content of the given area.


The humidifiers are needed generally during the cold months. In the cold months, the air becomes dry and the level of humidity decreases. The humidifier helps to level the humidity and prevent dry skin and other problems caused by dry air. The dehumidifiers are generally required during the hot months. The humidity increases excessively during the hotter months. The dehumidifier helps to level the humidity by increasing it.


The humidifier can effectively clear the nasal passages and moisten the dry skin. These are some of the common issues caused by the dry climate. The humidifiers help us tackle such issues. Alternatively, the dehumidifiers help to reduce the allergies, molds, dust mites, and mildew. These are some common issues that have to be dealt with by the people living in humid climates.

Required humidity levels

The humidifiers are used when the humidity level of a place drops below 35%. They help to increase the humidity of the place. The dehumidifiers are used when the humidity of a place increases above 50%. The humidifiers help to increase the humidity of a given place.


There are several kinds of dehumidifiers. The names are all listed in the table given above. There are two kinds of humidifiers. They are the cool mist and the warm mist humidifiers.

Final Word

We hope that through this article, you have got the clear idea about the humidifiers and the dehumidifiers. The choice of purchasing the humidifier or the dehumidifier depends upon the kind of climate you live in. we have tried to clarify all your doubts with this article. If you have any doubts, please write in the comments section below. You can come back later to find solutions to your query.