Air Purifiers, Humidifiers, and Diffusers — Is There a Difference?

Torn which one to get for your home? Here's a quick rundown for you 🤓


As parents, we can sometimes obsess over our kids’ and even family’s health, most of the time going overboard in looking for and testing products that promise to improve our general health. And the current trend that promises such in mommy groups and parenting circles these days are air purifiers, humidifiers, and diffusers.

These three items have something in common: it’s that they promise to improve the quality of breathing air in our home. But that’s just about their only similarity. So if you are unsure about which of these is best for your family and home, here’s a quick guide for you:

Air Purifiers

In layman’s term, an air purifier is a combination of a fan and a filter. Its main purpose is to eliminate pollutants inside your home that might cause health problems for your baby/child or even family members. This includes dust, viruses, smokes, molds, and odors that could be irritating especially for the young ones. It is also called air cleaner as its function implies.

There are different types of air purifiers in the market. However, experts advise using HEPA filters and Activated Carbon filter for the safety of babies and children.

HEPA and Activated Carbon could be more costly but these are much safer than Ozone Generators and Ion Purifiers, that studies claim are not safe not only to your baby but also to those with respiratory problems because of the ozone particles it produces.

If you have a member of the family who smokes, whether inside or outside the house, an air purifier with HEPA filters is a must because the smoker carries with him airborne contaminants that you wouldn’t want to have in your nursery.


Humidifiers, as the name implies, adds water or moisture into your room’s atmosphere. Now don’t get it confused with a vaporizer. Humidifiers add moisture by creating a fine mist while a vaporizer boils water to produce steam.

The latter may not be as safe as it can cause accidents, especially if you have kids running or playing around the house.

You might ask, “How does it help my baby?”

Know that the US FDA does not recommend treating children below 2 years old with over-the-counter (OTC) medicines for cough and cold. Increased water / liquid intake together with a cool-mist humidifier placed near the bed can help ease the dry nasal passage of your child.

Likewise, the added moisture could help prevent dry skin and other skin diseases associated with it.

It is often used in places that have a cold climate. Since air conditions are normally dry, having one at home not only helps in adding moisture to your room but benefits the health of your child as well.

This may not be the case in the Philippines as the average humidity, according to PAGASA – DOST is about 71 percent in March and 85 percent in September. Having a humidifier installed may not be appropriate for such weather conditions as increased moist can even create molds in your room.


A diffuser, sometimes called essential oil diffuser, is used to fill the room with the aroma of the dispersed oil. It is usually placed inside the room to improve your mood while some may even offer specific remedies or health benefits depending on the oils used.

While diffusers work well for adults to promote good sleep or relaxation, it is hard to say how it will affect your baby especially if he is below 4 months old. Though you can consult a physician on what is safe for your kids, it probably is better to veer away from its use if it is really unnecessary.

Remember parents, we might have the best intentions when it comes to our family’s health, but it’s also best to research and keep ourselves informed first. Doing so will ensure our family’s safety and even save from a few unnecessary purchases as well 😉


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