Should you buy an all-in-one air purifier and humidifier? Here’s what respiratory and environmental experts say.

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  • All-in-one air purifiers and humidifiers improve air quality and add moisture to the air.
  • We spoke to three health professionals and a certified indoor ecologist to learn more about these machines.
  • In most cases, the best option is to buy two separate machines.

Finding the right tools to help you and your family during times of illness can be difficult. Especially during the winter, many people turn to both air purifiers and humidifiers in an attempt to make the air a little cleaner and alleviate their symptoms. Even when you’re in good health, these machines can improve the air quality in your home, so they’re a great investment.

Air purifiers help remove the source of pollutants, while humidifiers add moisture to the air. If your space is limited or you want one less machine to maintain, you may have considered an all-in-one air purifier and humidifier.

To find out if an all-in-one machine is right for you, we consulted with four experts: Allergist Dr. Michelle Yasharpour; dermatologist Dr. Vladyslava Doctor; respiratory therapist and director of education at the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) Mandy DeVries and Certified Indoor Ecologist tony abbé. Below, we’ve highlighted the pros and cons of all-in-one air purifiers and humidifiers so you can make an informed decision as a consumer.

What is the difference between an air purifier and a humidifier?

An air purifier cleans the air in your home by filtering out harmful and unwanted particles. According to the Environmental protection agencyit also improves indoor air quality by eliminating or reducing the source of pollutants like odor, pollen, pet dander, and even smoke particles.

A humidifier, on the other hand, adds moisture to the air by releasing water vapor, or mist, which increases the humidity in your home.

What are air purifiers for?

Air purifiers are great for improving the air quality in your home. According to Dr. Doktor, they can help people breathe easier in their homes by removing pollutants from the air. They are especially useful for those who suffer from asthma or allergies to environmental agents. Here are some of our favorite air purifiers.

When I was diagnosed with asthma, my pulmonologist recommended an air purifier in my room. Dr. Yasharpour makes a similar recommendation to her patients: “I highly recommend air purifiers to my patients who are allergic to pet dander, outdoor mold, and pollen, as they are very helpful in cleaning the air of these particles,” he said.

Air purifiers can help remove irritants and smoke particles, but consumer appliances they are normally not capable of removing volatile organic compounds (VOC). VOC are chemicals that can have adverse health effects; They are commonly found in household products such as paint, varnish, and cleaning products.

What are humidifiers for?

Many people use humidifiers in the winter when the air tends to get very dry or in climates where the air is dry year-round. People who have sensitive skin or who are fighting a cold also often use humidifiers. We tested 10 models and designed a guide to help you find best humidifiers.

Dr. Yasharpour explained that humidifiers can help hydrate the skin and nasal passages. They are also commonly used to relieve coughs and to help prevent nosebleeds during dry weather.

They are great for keeping the humidity in a room at an ideal level (between 30-50% depending on the mayo clinic), just be careful not to make the air too humid. This can lead to the growth of mold and mildew, according to Abate.

What are the benefits of an all-in-one air purifier and humidifier?

In addition to reducing clutter, an all-in-one air purifier and humidifier can free up space if you live in a small space.

DeVries further explained that some features of all-in-one air purifiers and humidifiers can minimize the risk of fungal growth. For example, a water collection chamber that keeps collected water away from humidifying components and air inlets can be helpful. Proper maintenance is key to keeping your air fresh.

What are the drawbacks of an all-in-one air purifier and humidifier?

While all-in-one machines can be convenient and save space, they have quite a few drawbacks. Abate believes it is best to separate air purifiers and humidifiers because air cleaning and humidity control systems have different maintenance requirements and operating characteristics. DeVries warned that the air could become too humid when the two machines are combined. Air that is too humid could cause mold and mildew to grow.

It’s also important to consider whether you really need both machines. “Different products come with different features that can meet or exacerbate specific needs based on usage, location, lifestyle and other factors,” DeVries explained.

Insider Takeaway

If you’re shopping for an air purifier and humidifier, most experts we spoke to warned against an all-in-one machine, and we agree, especially since they have vastly different goals and features. There are more options on the market for separate air purifiers and humidifiers than all-in-one models, so you’ll have a better chance of finding the machine that meets your needs.

Dr. Yasharpour explained that it is important to purchase machines certified by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. When it comes to all-in-one humidifiers and air purifiers, you only have one choice: the Dyson Pure Humidify + Cool. This machine isn’t cheap either, but it’s your best bet if you absolutely must have an all-in-one machine. We tested and reviewed the Dyson Pure Humidify + Cool and found it to be the best humidifier air purifier we tested. We like that it has smart auto features and that it can read the air levels in the home and outside. Read more about what we thought of him in our the ultimate humidifier guide.

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