Difference Between Humidifier and Vaporizer


Main Difference

Many times we come across terms which are synonymous with each other but are the names of different products. Humidifier and Vaporizer are two such words which are commonly used for various purposes but considered to be synonyms of each other which are not true. Usually, regarding chemistry, it is a known fact that water in vapor form results in humidity at an area of low pressure. But although both these words seem similar there are many differences between the actual devices and these will be discussed in the following lines. The simplest definition of the vaporizer is a device which produces a liquid substance in the form of vapors. Humidifier, on the other hand, can be defined as a device which is used for keeping the room foggy or moist. There are some other variations among them as well. For example, humidifier diffuses water in the atmosphere in the form of cool mist, while vaporizer has to heat the water to bring it in the form of vapors and is dispersed in the environment in the form of hot steam. Another difference between them is that vaporizer is used to make things wet of moist while humidifier is used to improve the surroundings. Vaporizer, therefore, cannot help in medical terms, but a humidifier can be used to treat some health issues such as coughing and dryness. One further difference is that vaporizer can be harmful to people, especially kids since it contains hot water while humidifier is cooler so there is no danger of burning own self and causing damage to others. On the flip side, humidifiers can be dangerous for people who have breathing problems, such as asthma. Vaporizer does not directly cause any harm. The working devices have different mechanisms too, for vapors, there is a heater present which warms the water to the level required. In the case of a humidifier, there is a disk which spits out water in the form of vapors. Because of its more functionality, humidifiers are costlier as compared to vaporizers but at the same time, both of them are as effective as ever. Another factor which can distinguish each of them that while using a humidifier there are more chances of noise but vaporizer is a sound device which does not cause noise pollution. In the next two paragraphs, explanation and working of both these devices will be given to understand them better.

Comparison Chart

They are usually considered more versatile devices because of the function it performsThey are usually considered less versatile devices because of the less function it performs
Used to manage the atmosphere of the surroundings.Used to produce wetness on different surfaces.
Produce water in the form of cold droplets.Brings out hot water bubbles.
Are less dangerous because the water is cooler.Can be dangerous because they have hot water which can cause a hazard.

Definition of Humidifier

They are usually considered more versatile devices because of the function it performs. The working principle is same as other, in which water vapors are released from the humidifier to maintain or improve the surroundings. This is done with the help of a turning disk which is present inside the unit and is immersed in the water that exists in the tank. They are more expensive and also need to be maintained properly. Very few potential hazards related to it exist, and the only one can be keeping it away from the people who face breathing issues. There are different types of humidifiers. Cool mist is explained above, there is the impeller which is very similar to the cool mist one, there is also ultrasonic which uses a diaphragm which oscillates at variable speeds to sprinkle water. There is also the option of warm mist humidifier these days. All of them have different prices but are well equipped to last for a while.


Definition of Vaporizer

They function in a different way since there is a heating element present inside which boils water to help it come out in the form of bubbles. The primary use of this device is the extraction of herbs and other ingredients from plants to treat diseases. Although it does not have any related health problems, it can cause damage if someone uses it carelessly when it is hot. There are two types of vaporizers available in the market. First, one is the simplest, known as a steam boiler in which water is heated and released as a stem in the atmosphere and can be used to obtain herbs which treat issues such as asthma and flu. The other one is called water less vaporizer which is a new entrant and has pads inside which become moist with the help of oil or other liquids but can cost a lot because the pads have to be replaced after a certain time.

Differences in a Nutshell

  1. Humidifiers are used to manage the atmosphere of the surroundings, but vaporizer is used to produce wetness on different surfaces.
  2. Humidifiers produce water in the form of cold droplets, but vaporizer brings out hot water bubbles.
  3. A rotating disk is used to cool the water and convert it in the form of vapors while a vaporizer consists of a heating unit which makes the water hot and bubbly.
  4. Humidifiers are less dangerous because the water is cooler, but vaporizers can be dangerous because they have hot water which can cause a hazard.
  5. The humidifier is not safe for people suffering from asthma while vaporizer does not have any health related issues.
  6. The humidifier is mostly used in dry conditions, but vaporizer is used to create moisture with warm water.
  7. Humidifiers cost more than vaporizers because of their advanced functions.
  8. Vaporizers tend to cause less noise while using the device as compared to the humidifier.
  9. External objects can be applied along with a vaporizer, but that cannot be done while using a humidifier.


It is easy to understand the difference between the two above terms. Both are very different from each other and there is no similarity what so ever. They can also be called the old and modern way of calling each other. Optimistically, this space would have provided a general idea and detailed explanation.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss