Humidifier vs dehumidifier — we explain the difference and why you might have the wrong appliance

A humidifier in a bedroom
(Image credit: Getty Images)

At first glance, the difference between a humidifier vs dehumidifier might seem like two sides of the same coin, both designed to improve indoor air quality. However, these two helpful appliances serve opposite functions in your home. 

On one hand, humidifiers add moisture to the air, combating dry conditions that can lead to respiratory issues, skin irritation, and damage to timber structures. Dehumidifiers, in contrast, remove excess moisture, preventing damp and condensation, and creating a less hospitable environment for allergens, mould and mildew. 

Gabriella Dyson
Assistant Editor

Gabriella is Homebuilding & Renovating's Assistant Editor. She is a DIY enthusiast and a lover of all things interior design. She’s spent the past decade crafting copy for regional publications, award-winning architects, and leading UK homeware brands. 

She has a particular passion for historic buildings and listed properties, and she is currently in the process of renovating a Grade II-listed Victorian coach house in the West Country. At Homebuilding & Renovating Magazine, Gabriella is responsible for curating the magazine's home case studies and regularly contributes to the Homebuilding website.