Water-Based Air Purifier: What It Is, Care, & Pros and Cons

As more people become concerned with the state of their air quality, indoors and outdoors, it’s not surprising that there’s a market for several different air purifiers. 

People usually debate HEPA vs. ionizers, but what about a water-based air purifier? 

What is it? 

And is it a good choice? 

If you’re looking for info on water-based air purifiers, you’ve come to the right place!

What is a Water-Based Air Purifier? 

Water-based air purifiers are also commonly referred to as water revitalizers.

As the name suggests, these air purifiers use water instead of the more traditional HEPA or charcoal filter. 

And just like their filter-based cousins, they’re very effective at removing allergens, spores, and dust from the air. 

The only difference is water replaces a filter — or you could say water is the filter. 

One of the most significant advantages of a water-based air purifier is the ease and low cost of maintenance. 

Instead of buying a new filter— which is sometimes fairly expensive — on a regular basis, you refresh the water.

The use of water also means these units can double as a humidifier and, in some cases, can be used as an aroma diffuser as well.

The premise of a water-based air purifier is built on science. 

Researchers have shown that the ocean works as a giant air filter by absorbing pollutants. 

Of course, other factors in the area will determine air quality, but the fact remains — water cleans the air.

Have you ever noticed that fresh scents have names like Ocean Breeze or Rain Swept? 

Water is synonymous with clean and fresh. It’s cleansing. 

Water-based air purifiers essentially work by spinning the dirty air in your home through a water cycle. 

This process collects pollutants and holds them onto them, cycling clean air back into your home.

How Water-Based Air Purifiers Work

As mentioned above, water is cleansing. 

It attracts dirt, pollen, smoke particles, and other air particles. 

And once they touch the surface of the water, they are trapped.

Simply put, these water purifiers have a tank of water and a fan. 

The fan creates a vortex in the tank; the faster it goes, the better it collects and traps particles. 

Additionally, the more water moves, the more waves it creates, producing a larger surface area capable of collecting and trapping even more pollutants from the air.

For air to reach the water, it is sucked in through a vent and into the water. 

The purifier pulls pollutants from the air into the water, where they remain. Fresh, purified air is released back into the room.

Advantages of Water-Based Air Purifiers

Here are several benefits if you’re considering buying a water-based air purifier.

They provide humidity. It’s common knowledge that air purifiers can often dry out the air in your home. 

If dry air is a problem for you, then the moisture produced by a water-based model is a significant side benefit.

Cost-effective. These purifiers are typically cheaper than models with HEPA filters or ionizing capabilities, so if budget is the determining factor, consider this type of air purifier. 

And in terms of coverage area, they’re often more efficient.

Low operating costs. If you’ve ever had to replace the filter on a more traditional air purifier, you know it can be expensive. 

However, with this type of purifier, all you need to do is replace the water.

Aroma diffuser. If you’d like to pump fresh scent into your home, some models feature an aroma diffuser that allows you to add essential oils for aromatherapy. 

If this is a feature you want, look for it in the marketing material before buying. 

Don’t assume because, in some cases, the oil could interfere with the effectiveness of your air purifier.

Whisper quiet. Since manufacturers made these purifiers with fewer parts than other purifiers, they often produce less noise.

Like any other air purifier, they will also benefit those with allergies, pet owners, and smokers. 

As well they can help to minimize cooking odors.

Disadvantages Of Water-Based Air Purifiers

So, where do water-based air purifiers fail?

Not suitable for very small particles. Most importantly, they are not as effective in purifying the air from small particles. 

While a HEPA filter can clear the air of microscopic-sized particles — down to 0.3 microns — water-based air purifiers are not capable of this. 

However, they are capable of cleaning the air of most allergens.

Excessive humidity. While additional humidity could be a benefit or advantage depending on your environment, it could also be a disadvantage. 

If your purifier adds too much humidity to your home, this increases the chance of mold and bacteria growth. 

You may be trying to remove these things from your indoor air.

Cleaning. As with any appliance that collects or stores water, you must clean the tank on a regular basis or bacteria will begin to grow.

They’re typically small. If you’re looking for something to purify a larger area, water base air purifiers probably aren’t the wisest choice.

Choosing the Best Water Based Air Purifier

If you’ve decided that a water air purifier is the right choice, here are some suggestions to help you choose the best model. 

There are many different types and models on the market, so the following should help you narrow down your choice.

Multiple fan speeds. The speed at which the water in your purifier swirls depends on the fan. 

The option to choose from multiple speeds gives you greater control over the humidity levels in your home and the amount of purification.

Water capacity. Remember that you must clean the water tank regularly. 

If you choose a model with a small tank, you could change the water daily, if not more. 

I would choose a model with a larger tank capacity.

Multifunction. Be aware that you can choose water base air purifiers that also double as aroma diffusers. 

And if your home could use a humidifier, consider getting a purifier with a larger capacity tank.

How to Keep Your Water-Based Air Purifier Clean

As I mentioned before, cleaning the water tank regularly is necessary, but what else should you do?

Do the following at least once a week.

Step #1. Be safe. Before doing anything else, turn off and unplug your air purifier.

Step #2. Remove the top portion. Where the tank is will differ depending on your air purifier model.

Step #3. Access and remove the fan. The fan keeps the water circulating, so it’s very common for it to build up dirt. 

Keeping the blades clean is just as important as keeping the tank clean. Mild soap and water are sufficient.

Step #4. Remove the water tank. 

After dumping out the old water, wash with mild, soapy water, then rinse and wipe down.

Step #5. Wipe down the unit’s exterior using a damp towel or antibacterial wipe.

Step #6. Clean the stem found in the tank. 

Since it’s narrow, use something small and soft like a Q-Tip or thin bottle brush to cleanse and remove any build-up.

Step #7. Allow your unit to air dry before putting it back together. 

Now refill the water tank and start it up again.

Water-Based Air Purifier Recommendations

Do you want to try one of these air purifiers? 

Here are a few to consider.

Best Overall Water Based Air Purifier: U.S. JACLEAN Aroma Globe Air Washer

  • MSRP: $37.00
  • 7-inch-tall tabletop model
  • Covers up to 700 ft.²
  • Weight: 2.07 pounds
  • Material: Plastic

Doing triple duty as an air cleaner, aroma diffuser, and humidifier, the Aroma Globe traps harmful particles and removes unpleasant odors. 

And comes packaged with three aroma oils, including:

  • Cherry Blossom
  • Ocean mist
  • Jasmine

As an additional feature, this machine also produces white noise.

Best Runner-Up Water Based Air Purifier: Sirena Twister Air Purifier

  • MSRP: $41.98
  • Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Material: Plastic
  • 7-color LED illumination

This mini water air purifier will remove pet dander, lint, smoke, and odors from your home, saving you and your family from asthma and breathing issues.

It’s small and portable, making it an excellent choice for your desk, bathroom vanity, or kitchen counter. 

Sirena also separately sells an Ocean Breeze deodorizer. 

Water-Based Air Purifier: Conclusion 

There’s no question that water-based air purifiers have their place in the purifier market. 

They do an excellent job at cleaning dust from your home. 

They’re also a great option if your home is typically dry since they constantly add humidity to the air.

However, if you’re concerned about removing smaller particles from your environment, a water air purifier is not the best choice. 

The only option for tiny, microscopic particles down to 0.3 microns is a True HEPA filter.