Do Water Air Purifiers Work?

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Written By Jamila W.

Do water air purifiers work? Yes, they do work. Water air purifiers are highly effective in getting rid of most common household airborne pollutants. However, a water purifier is less perfect than an air purifier that comes with a True HEPA filter. 

We have seen how the air gets clean and fresh after it has rained. Water air purifiers work under the same principle, and having one guarantees you clean air and increased indoor humidity levels. Some models also come with essential oils that help get rid of bad odors.  

The blog shall help you decide whether a water purifier works or not by covering the following areas:

  • What is a water air purifier
  • How a water air purifier works
  • Different types of air purifiers and how they differ
  • Factors affecting the effectiveness of air purifiers
  • Water air purifiers buying guide
  • What contaminants water air purifiers can filter
  • Other alternatives to improving indoor air quality

What Is a Water-Based Air Purifier

A water-based air purifier uses water to clean the air compared to traditional air filters. Since water-based air purifiers use water, they double up as humidifiers, thus making your indoor air more clean and humid. Aside from being able to filter dust, spores, and some allergens from the air, water air purifiers can also act as aroma diffusers. 

How Do Water-Based Air Purifiers Work

As the name suggests, water-based air purifiers rely mainly on water to get rid of air pollutants. So how do they work? Water is sticky, making it capable of attracting different particles from the air, including dirt, pollen, smoke, and some allergens. The water attracts and perfectly traps these particles from the air making it cleaner. 

To increase the collection capability of water, the purifier creates a water basin. When water is in waves, its surface area increases, making it trap particles better. The water air purifier pulls air through a vent and delivers it into the water basin. At this point, the air is purified and humidified. The clean air is then released back into the room. 

The water purification process is simple and more suitable for homes. However, these water-based air purifiers are not as effective as HEPA air purifiers when it comes to getting rid of tiny particles. Don’t get me wrong, water-based air purifiers still get the job done and are cheaper.

How Air Purifiers Differ

Air purifiers differ in different ways. Let us look at some of these differences:

  • Type and number of filters: Air purifiers come with different filters, each specifically designed to filter a specific type of pollutant. The filters also come in different numbers, with some even having up to five other filters.
  • Coverage: Each air purifier has its coverage. This is the area in which the purifier can filter the air perfectly. You should therefore know how big your space is before investing in an air purifier.
  • CADR: This is the rate at which the air purifier delivers clean air into your room. Different brands and types have different clean air delivery rates.
  • Efficiency: The efficiency of an air purifier shows how well it can collect air pollutants from the indoor air. It is mostly expressed as a percentage. 
  • Portability: The size and weight of a purifier affect its portability. Small-sized air purifiers are easy to carry around compared to large ones. However, most portable air purifiers are effective in small to medium-sized spaces only.
  • Contaminants targeted: Depending on the types of filters featured, different air purifiers target other pollutants. It is, therefore, vital to know the contaminants present in your home before buying an air purifier. 

Is a Water Air Purifier Effective?

Yes, a water-based air purifier can be effective in getting rid of common airborne pollutants from your indoor environment. However, air purifiers with HEPA filters are better. The HEPA air filters can get rid of up to 99% of all particles present in the air, including smoke particles. This is because of their powerful filtration technology. 

There might be a downside to having a water air purifier, but it also comes with benefits. You can use it to increase the humidity levels at home by circulating moist air molecules. Having a water-based air purifier in your home can also help you control bad smells. 

Types of Air Purifiers

Aside from water air purifiers, there are three other major air purifiers. Let us look at them.

Filtered Air Purifiers 

Filtered air purifiers use one or more filters to capture contaminants from the air. A filtered air purifier sucks in the air from your room using a fan and passes it through one or more filters. As the air goes through, the filters capture any available pollutants, leaving only clean air. The clean air is then pushed back into the living area.

Advanced filtered air purifier models have activated carbon filters that work superbly with odors and pollutants. Consider buying one with a HEPA filter to ensure you get the best out of your air purifier. 

The HEPA filter eliminates up to 99% of pollutants, including bacteria, viruses, pollen, dust, dirt, and moisture. A HEPA filter will also ensure that your indoor air is free of allergens. Filtered air purifiers are highly effective, especially the ones that come with a combination of different filters.

Electrostatic Air Purifiers 

These types of air purifiers act as magnets for dust and small particles in the air. By using electrostatic technology, the air purifier collects air from the room and charges any available particles with an electric charge. The charged particles are then attracted to a magnetic plate with the opposite charge leaving the air clean and free of pollutants. 

Electrostatic air purifiers can collect different types of contaminants from the air, including dust, pollen, and carpet fibers. The electrostatic filter also lasts long because it is reusable and eco-friendly, making electrostatic air purifiers highly affordable. However, we do not recommend these air purifiers to people with allergies. Electrostatic air purifiers have a low MERV rating making them ineffective for getting rid of the tiniest of contaminants and allergens. 

MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value and is a very crucial factor when it comes to allergens. An air purifier with a MERV rating close to 12 is good for molds, pet dander, and other types of allergens. Electrostatic air purifiers mostly range between 1 and 4 when it comes to MERV ratings. As a result, they are specifically suitable for household use by people having no health conditions. 

UV Light Air Purifiers 

UV light air purifiers capture contaminants from the air using Ultraviolet light technology. The purifier captures air from the living area and passes it through an internal chamber. In this chamber, the air is exposed to UV-C light produced by UV lamps. The UV rays disinfect the air through germicidal irradiation. The now clean air is then released back into the room.

Some models pass the air through filters to make it even cleaner before releasing it back into the room. Such models are more effective since UV light can miss some pollutants, especially volatile

organic compounds (VOCs). There are also some reports suggesting that UV air purifiers release ozone gas as they operate. As a result, these air purifiers can harm people with breathing conditions like Asthma.

Factors Affecting the Effectiveness of Air Purifiers

Several factors determine how effective your air purifier will be at getting rid of pollutants from your indoor air. Let us look at some of these factors. 

Type of filter

The filter material of an air purifier greatly impacts its performance. There are several types of filters, each with its advantages and limitations. Non-woven fabrics and filter papers perfectly filter contaminants, but they also have poor ventilation.

On the other hand, an activated carbon filter has a strong adsorption capacity but saturates rather quickly. Filters also have different performances when in different indoor environments. As a result, you need to be keen when choosing your air purifier, as the filters should be capable of handling your indoor conditions. You should also replace filters on a regular basis.

Fan Performance 

The air purifier fan collects air from the living area and directs it to the filters. As a result, the performance of the fan and the volume of air it collects directly affect its efficiency.  

However, most high-performance fans produce high volumes of noise. Most manufacturers try to counter this issue by improving the air purifier structure because it absorbs most noise. Generally, the higher the fan performance, the more efficient an air purifier will be. 

Workspace Volume

This is the coverage that an air purifier can perfectly clean. It is usually provided by the manufacturer in square feet or cubic meters per hour. When buying an air purifier, ensure that its workspace volume equals to or is more than your indoor space. 

Degree of Indoor Pollution

An air purifier would work differently depending on how polluted the indoor air space is. The air, therefore, cleans air faster when there are fewer pollutants compared to more. 

Water Air Purifiers Buying Guide 

Are you looking for a water air purifier? Finding the best one for you can take time and effort. You might need help to pick one. Below are some factors to consider when buying a water air purifier:


Water Air Purifiers come in different sizes and shapes. There are some units that are bigger than others. They also have different shades of color. You want to buy an air purifier that can easily fit in the allocated space in your home. It should only occupy a little space, especially in a small room. There are Air Purifiers that are big and bulky and need special tools to be installed in your home.

The shape and design is also a factor. You want an air purifier that blends with your home’s decorations. It should be able to fit well with the furniture or even curtains. As much as you’re going for performance, consider buying an air purifier that blends well with your house. It should not stand out on its own. It should be able to clean the air and not be very noticeable at the same time.

Room Coverage

Air Purifiers are designed to work perfectly in specific room sizes. Not all air purifiers can be used in all room sizes. Their performance depends on the size of the room they are cleaning. You should know the measurements of your room before buying an air purifier. Air purifiers have room coverage indicated by the manufacturers.

Buying an air purifier that is too small for your room will not perfectly clean the air. It will consume a lot of energy and not improve the indoor air quality. A larger air purifier may not be suitable for small rooms. It might consume unnecessary power. Consider knowing the room size before buying an air purifier.

Noise Level

Air Purifiers, like any other machine, make noise when running. They have fans that rotate at different fan speeds. Some models can be too loud and distracting. They might have good performance but produce too much noise when working. The Noise levels are measured in decibels.

Manufacturers indicate the noise levels of air purifiers. It would be best if you considered getting an air purifier that produces little noise. Some come with HEPA silent technology that allows you to sleep at night. They produce white noise that makes you fall asleep faster. Noise should always be a factor when buying a water air purifier.

Power Consumption

Air purifiers consume power when they operate. Some purifiers can run the whole day or even the whole night without being turned off. This consumes energy. Air Purifiers have different power ratings. Some high-performance models have high power ratings.

Manufacturers are now coming up with energy-efficient air purifiers. They consume little power and still maintain high performance. This makes them more efficient and cheaper to operate. Consider looking at the power ratings before buying an air purifier. The manufacturers usually indicate the ratings.

Maintenance Costs

Air Purifiers must be well maintained to function well. The units must be cleaned and fans replaced after some time. The replacement parts might be expensive, and some can be hard to find. Estimating the maintenance costs before buying an air purifier would be best. You should buy an air purifier that requires few maintenance practices. This will reduce the maintenance costs and the expenses of running the air purifier.

Availability of Smart Features

Air purifiers come with smart features that make it easier to operate them. Some purifiers have WiFi connectivity. This feature lets you connect your phone to the air purifier, making it easier to control. You can adjust your phone’s settings or even use voice command features to give the purifier instructions.

Some additional smart features include auto mode, sleep mode, and air quality indicators. The air quality indicators show the levels of pollutants in your home. The air purifier will then automatically turn on and get rid of these harmful airborne particles. It would help to buy an air purifier with smart features for effective functioning.

CADR Ratings

Clean Air Delivery Rate indicates how quickly an air purifier can clear a room of all Pollutants. The higher the CADR rating, the more powerful an air purifier is. An air purifier with a high CADR rating can clean air from a room using the shortest time possible. It has better performance than that with lower ratings. 

The manufacturers of the air purifier usually indicate the CADR rate. Consider checking the CADR rating before buying a water air purifier. These ratings will help you know whether the purifier can clean your house faster or take longer.

What Contaminants Can Water Air Purifiers Filter?

Water-based air purifiers are capable of getting rid of household contaminants while at the same time adding humidity to the air. Some models also double up as air diffusers by adding aroma to your indoor space. Below are some of the contaminants a water-based air purifier can clean from your living area;

  • Dust
  • Pollen
  • Pet dander
  • Spores
  • Some allergens 

What Are The Other Alternatives for Improving Indoor Air Quality

You can always consider other alternatives for Improving indoor air quality. These alternatives will help supplement your water air purifier or, in some cases, make it possible to get by without an air purifier. Let us look at some of the alternatives:

Open Your Windows

If the weather allows it, opening your windows is a highly effective way of improving the indoor air quality of your home. When the windows are open, purified air can easily enter the room as contaminated air leaves. Opening your windows using your water air purifier will greatly improve its efficiency. 

Vacuum Often

Vacuuming is another great way of getting rid of unwanted particles from your indoor air. However, ensure you buy a sealed vacuum cleaner that is HEPA-certified. Having such a vacuum cleaner ensures that it traps dust rather than sending it back into the air. 

Install a Hood Extractor Fan in Your Kitchen

You can improve indoor air quality by buying a hood extractor fan. The fan will ensure that all the fumes are sucked out of your kitchen as you cook. It would be best to leave it running before switching on your burners and oven and after cooking. 

Smoke From Outside

We don’t recommend smoking. However, if you have to smoke, consider doing it outside so your indoor air remains uncontaminated. You can also avoid using canes and wood fires while inside the house. 

Reduce Dampness

Dampness greatly lowers your indoor air quality. It may also cause pollutants to leach into the air, which is hazardous to your health. In most cases, your living area may get dampness from leaky pipes and roofs, low ventilation, or humid climates. You can perfectly lower dampness in your house using a dehumidifier or by improving airflow.

Consider Indoor Plants

Indoor plants are another good alternative for dealing with air pollution in your home. Plants release oxygen into the environment, thus making it cleaner and more breathable. However, plants need to be taken care of, and this method might only be useful to some people. You must also be careful with the plant you choose since some can produce molds or trigger allergens.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can Water-Based Air Purifiers Help With Eczema?

Yes, a water-based air revitalizer can help reduce the symptoms of Eczema. They also act as humidifiers and increase the moisture levels in your house. This prevents you from having dry skin.

Can I Replace a Humidifier With Water Based Air Purifiers?

Yes, you can replace humidifiers with water-based air purifiers. However, this depends on the humidity levels you desire. Humidifiers are much better at raising humidity levels in your home.

Can Water-Based Air Purifiers Improve Indoor Air Quality?

Yes, water-based air revitalizers can help improve indoor air quality by filtering out harmful chemicals. They might not be as effective as air purifiers with HEPA filters, but they work well enough to improve air quality.


A water-based air purifier can be helpful for getting rid of unwanted pollutants from your home. The air purifiers mainly use water to trap airborne particles and other pollutants. They are affordable and environmentally friendly to use. It would be best if you considered having them as an alternative to HEPA air purifiers when improving the air quality of your home. This article covers everything you need to know about water based air purifiers. By now, you can make an informed decision when getting one.