Humidifier vs. Vaporizer: Difference Between Humidifier And Vaporizer

Humidifiers and vaporizers are both beneficial when it comes to adding humidity to dry air. We all know what dry air can do to your home from peeling wallpapers to shrinking and cracking wooden décor and furniture. However, with the best kind of investment in a humidifier or vaporizer, you can prevent all this and many more.

You can always buy a vaporizer or a humidifier to help you with easier breathing and sleeping. They both look almost the same and emit moisture into the air. Nevertheless, they have their differences, especially when it comes to functionality, cost, and maintenance.

Humidifier vs. Vaporizer: Difference in Functionality

When it comes to functionality, vaporizers are a bit different from humidifiers as they often use a heating element to heat water and emit hot steam into the air. As for humidifiers, they use fans, rotating disk or ultrasonic-tech to emit a cool or warm mist.


A vaporizer is great for providing warm mist and is ideal for the winter. The hot steam always take care of any germs, viruses as well as bacteria in your surrounding environment. It also keeps the vaporizer clean and germ-free.

Moreover, you should take care with vaporizers, especially if you have kids and pets. This is because its steam is dangerously hot unlike that of a warm mist humidifier, which is cooled first before emission.

Its heat can actually burn your skin and that of your pet and baby anytime if it rises too high or gets knocked over.

Types of Vaporizers

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  • Steam or Warm Mist Vaporizer- This type uses water, which, it boils to emit the steam to the air. You can use any herbs or inhalants with it, to help with easier breathing as well as cold and flu
  • Waterless Vaporizer- This uses pre-moistened pads infused with essential oils and menthol. It is actually safer than the steam vaporizer as it does not use any water. Besides, it operates very quietly. Moreover, you will have to replace the pads, which can be costly in the long-run[/su_list]


Humidifiers are always considered the safe option for a home with kids and pets. They can humidify your surrounding air without any harmful side effects. The only problem is that only some allow the use of essential oils.

Types of Humidifiers

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  • Cool Mist Humidifiers– These can be found in three different designs, ultrasonic, impeller and evaporative kind. Moreover, they are often affordable and easy to operate. The only issue is that they need to be cleaned more often than warm mist humidifiers. This is because they lack hot vapor to deal with the germs, mold, bacteria, viruses, and mildew from its stagnant water
  • Warm Mist Humidifiers– This type of humidifier usually boils water to steam and releases it after cooling it. However, the warm mist is never recommended for those with asthma. Nevertheless, it operates silently but at a huge energy cost[/su_list]

Additional Information on Humidifiers and Vaporizers

A quality humidifier can help you and your baby with cold, respiratory congestion, croup, and stuffy noses as well as bronchitis. This is because it can easily fight off, airborne bacteria and viruses in dry air by humidifying it.

Moreover, humidifiers are safe for homes with pets, children and the elderly as their mist can cool or warm the surrounding indoor environment. Besides, it can take you through all seasons of the year.

Moreover, humidifiers often have loads of safety features. You just have to place it away from kids reach.

On the other hand, vaporizers are ideal for homes with no kids or pets and can use medicinal oils and herbs to keep the air fresh. Besides, the hot vapor often helps with virus and bacteria on the air as well as on the unit.

Vaporizers also make less noise when compared to humidifiers. Therefore, you can opt for them if you are highly sensitive to sound. However, you should avoid them if you are sensitive to heat.

As for cost, humidifiers often cost a lot more than vaporizers but are favored due to their user-friendly and safety features. With a vaporizer, you will have to take care of your kids and pets or keep it away from them. Nevertheless, vaporizers are very affordable.

Cleaning and Maintenance of Vaporizers and Humidifiers

When it comes to cleaning both of these units, need frequent cleaning, especially vaporizers and cool mist humidifiers. This is to prevent the build-up of mold, mildew, and bacteria on it. Besides, you can always make the cleaning more regular depending on use as well as your surrounding environment.

Warm mist humidifiers also need cleaning but not as often, as the steam often takes care of most bacteria and viruses while preventing the formation of mold and mildew on it.

Moreover, you should always follow the user manual to the latter, when it comes to maintenance. This is because any misstep can render the unit ineffective.

Vaporizer vs. Humidifier: Quick Recap of Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits of a Vaporizer

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  • Lowers the risk of bacteria and germs as it boils the water and emits only clean vapor
  • Heats the room
  • You can add medicinal inhalants into its water dispenser
  • Very affordable
  • You can use tap water with it[/su_list]


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  • Expensive to run due to heating element
  • Requires a high level of maintenance, needs to be dry all the time and requires daily water change
  • It poses a burning hazard because of its hot vapor, however, you can place it in a secure place where you will not bump into it and your kids cannot reach it[/su_list]

Benefits of Humidifiers

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  • Soothes your skin, sinuses, and symptoms of flu, cold and asthma
  • Does not pose a burning hazard even when knocked over as it only emits cool and warm mist[/su_list]


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  • You can only use distilled or purified water with it as tap water has minerals that can be inhaled easily. Besides, the minerals can affect the quality of air
  • It can create a favorable condition for dust mites if the humidity surpasses 50%. You can use a hygrometer to know the humidity level
  • May increase mold growth if humidity surpasses 45%. However, you can prevent this by cleaning and letting it dry before use as well as changing the filter as recommended by the manufacturer
  • A bit expensive when compared to a vaporizer[/su_list]


Therefore, you can opt for a humidifier or vaporizer be it you want to stay warm in winter or just get rid of dry air. They are both effective at increasing indoor humidity.

The only variation is use and cost. You can buy any, but you have to consider how you are going to use it as well as the people in your home.

The above review has just given you a glimpse of what to expect from both and when to use a vaporizer or humidifier. So improve the quality of your surrounding air today and buy one of the best humidifier or vaporizer for your home or office space.

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