What Is Better For Your Asthma, A Humidifer Or Air Purifier?

May 7, 2021

Are Air Purifiers Or Humidifiers Better For Asthma Control?

Disclaimer: The content below is written to share our experience and should not be regarded as medical advice. Please consult your Doctor should you have any questions.

If you are looking into improving the air quality within your home, you've likely been looking at investing in either an air purifier or humidifier or maybe even both. 

Humidifier machines and air purifier devices both have lot's of benefits for your health and help improve respiratory symptoms from allergies and symptoms of asthma. A humidifier is great for a stuffy nose or people with asthma as it can ease symptoms, while an air purifier can get rid of the triggers for people with asthma. 

To help you understand the difference between humidifiers and air purifiers and which one is better for dealing with asthma, we have compared the two types of devices below to see which one could be better for asthma sufferers. 

What Does An Air Purifier Do?

Before we can get on to comparing which type of device is the best for helping asthma, let's discuss how each machine works and what its main objective is for the air quality in your home. 

Most air purifiers function with a HEPA filter and a carbon filter as a unit to remove and filter bad bacteria and particles from the air such as; mould spores, pet dander, dust and more. It does by sucking air into the purifier and trapping the bacteria with the HEPA design, then it releases fresh air back into your home. 

To improve indoor air quality further, these filtration systems are paired with a carbon filter which can trap organic compounds gases and airborne allergens in the air, this stops you from breathing in bad pollutants as well as removing horrible odours from the air. 

Traditional air filters in air purifiers need to be changed often unless you use an ionizer, UV-C or an ozone generator to clean the air, but these are generally not suggested as they can emit a small amount of ozone which is dangerous to inhale.

Can An Air Purifier Help Asthma? 

An air purifier can help people with asthma as the filter elements trap asthma-triggering particles that can float around in the air.

If you know the kinds of particles and type of allergens that can trigger your asthma, then an air purifier will likely remove most of them through its filtration technology, allowing you to breathe easier and reduce asthmatic symptoms. 

Most asthma attacks can be triggered by mold allergy particles, dust microscopic particles, cigarette smoke or even cleaning products, and an air purifier will trap all of these, offering better control for your asthma.

Pros & Cons Of Using an Air Purifier For Asthma 

An air purifier for asthma has a huge amount of advantages as it takes out all the harmful particles in the air through its air filters and is very safe to use, with HEPA filters removing up to 99.97% of particles in the air that can trigger asthma symptoms. 

Air purifiers are a matter of fact recommended for people who have a lot of asthma triggers as they get to the core of the issue rather than just treating the symptoms, helping you live a better quality of life inside. 

There are no downfalls to using an air purifier for asthma, the only disadvantages of these purifiers are if you buy one that emits ozone such as ionizers or ozone generators as it can be damaging to breathe in. They also require the filtration system to be changed often to keep it in the best health and avoid mold spores building.


  • Removes a high per cent of asthma triggering particles in the air. 
  • Does not affect humidity levels in the air. 
  • Cleans the air improving the overall quality you are breathing in and gets rid of bad gas such as VOCs which are known to make asthma worse. 


  • Some air purifiers contain ozone which can make respiratory conditions worse.
  • The filtration system needs to be changed often on HEPA and carbon purifiers.

What Does a Humidifier Do? 

Humidifiers on the other hand do not clean the air from harmful bacteria and instead add moisture which can help to tackle dry air conditions, this can also benefit people with dry skin or dry nasal cavities that can often be painful from colds. 

Humidifiers tend to operate by boiling water inside of the machine to create a higher level of humidity, this is then sent out via an ultrasonic system which pushes the vibrating droplets into the air via small mineral particles. 

Steam humidifiers not only help with dry conditions but can ease nasal passages when you become sick or when you are having allergy symptoms. 

Can a Humidifier Help With Asthma? 

Most types of humidifiers will help with asthma, as the added moisture in the air will ease asthmatic symptoms such as dry nasal passages or a dry throat for example. The unit will provide consistent humidity levels in the air if your asthma is often triggered via dry air conditions, providing some relief.

You can also use a dehumidifier to help with asthma if the air in your space is too damp and most.

Pros & Cons Of Using a Humidifier For Asthma 

The advantages of using a humidifier for asthma is that it can help symptoms brought on by dust particles or other unwanted particles in the air, allowing you to breathe better and decreasing the health effects asthma has. 

Downfalls of humidifiers have to be that they don't treat the problem which causes asthma difficulties to develop as they can't clean the air particles which trigger. Too much humidity in the air is said to invite more mold growth too, which can even worsen asthmatic symptoms due to the added spores in the air. 

It is additionally said that humidifiers used with water that is not distilled can release bad particles into the air, and you have to ensure to clean the humidifier often so as mold can not develop. 


  • Helps ease symptoms of asthma. 
  • Stops dry air conditions. 
  • Eases dry nasal passages. 


  • Can make humidity levels worse for asthma. 
  • Treats the symptoms, not the triggers.
  • Mold can develop inside the humidifier. 
  • You have to use distilled water.

Conclusion - Which Is Better For Asthma? 

The best devices for asthmatic lungs has to be an air purifier, as these devices get rid of a large percent of the triggers that cause asthma problems to develop in people, to begin with, allowing people to have more control over their asthma condition inside as the particles are removed. 

Humidifiers are also great for asthma, but not as great as purifiers are, this is because they don't clean the air from allergen levels and pollutant levels, and instead make asthma symptoms more comfortable by adding moisture to the air, so this treats the symptoms, not the problem.

Can I Use a Humidifier & Air Purifier Together? 

If both machines are beneficial to asthmatics when maintained well and used correctly, you might be wondering whether or not you can just use a humidifier and a purifier together? One to trap asthma-triggering particles and the other to help with nasal irritation. 

Well, the answer to that is yes, you can use a purifier and ultrasonic humidifier together as they both perform different functions, this can help people with asthma get the best of both of worlds and improve air quality by a huge percent. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Humidifiers & Air Purifiers For Asthma 

How much humidity should be in the air of my home? 

The ideal amount of humidity that should be inside of your home is between 30-50%, any less or more could lead to dry conditions or moldy conditions if the air is too moist.

Will an air purifier trap dust particles that can trigger asthma? 

Yes, an air purifier with a high-quality HEPA filter can trap dust particles and other particles in the air which are tiny in size to help you control your asthma.

Can a humidifier help dry skin around my nose?

A humidifier will add water droplets as moisture to the air which can help people with dry skin, especially if your nasal passages and the skin around your nose is dry from allergies, make sure to clean the humidifier often, however.

Final Words 

To conclude our comparison, an air purifier is better for asthma, as it gets rid of the particles in the air that can trigger asthmatic symptoms, helping you have higher quality clean air to inhale, humidifiers, on the other hand, can be great to make asthma symptoms feel better, but don't treat the actual cause like purifiers do, thus, less effective. 

You can always use a humidifier and an air purifier together if you want to help beat asthma inside of your home and make it easier to handle.

Kirsten Carter
Kirsten Carter is a freelance content writer who specialises in writing about travel, technology and health. When she's not traveling between her home of Tanzania and England, she writes for her blog Rightminded Travelling and features on a variety of different travel and technology sites.

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