Hygrometer, Barometer, Manometer: What's the difference?

Sper Scientific Humidity Monitor

Barometer vs. hygrometer vs. manometer

A hygrometer, barometer and manometer are all instruments used for measuring different atmospheric and fluid properties.

In a nutshell, a hygrometer measures relative humidity or moisture in the air. Barometers measure pressure in the atmosphere, while manometers are used to measure pressure in a closed system.

Here's a look at how they differ:

desktop hygrometer


  • Purpose: A hygrometer is used to measure humidity or moisture content in the air, specifically the relative humidity.

  • Principle: Hygrometers work based on various principles, such as the expansion or contraction of materials (hair, paper, or electronic sensors) in response to changes in humidity. The instrument then provides a reading of relative humidity in percentage.

  • Application: Hygrometers are commonly used in meteorology, climate monitoring, industrial processes, and indoor environments to control humidity levels for comfort and safety.

See: Sper Scientific Hygrometers


Dial Barometer
  • Purpose: A barometer is used to measure atmospheric pressure, which helps in weather forecasting and monitoring changes in weather patterns.

  • Principle: Barometers typically work by measuring the height of a column of mercury (in a mercury barometer) or the pressure exerted on a surface by the atmosphere (in aneroid barometers). Changes in atmospheric pressure are used to predict weather conditions.

  • Application: Barometers are essential in meteorology, aviation, and marine navigation to provide information about impending weather changes, including the approach of high or low-pressure systems.
See: Sper Scientific Barometers


    • Purpose: A manometer is used to measure the pressure of gases and liquids in a closed system or a pipeline. It is often used in industrial processes and engineering applications.

    • Principle: Manometers measure pressure by comparing it to a reference pressure (usually atmospheric pressure). They use various techniques, including U-tube manometers, inclined-tube manometers, and digital pressure transducers, to measure pressure differences.

    • Application: Manometers are commonly used in industries like manufacturing, chemical processing, HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning), and fluid dynamics to monitor and control pressure in systems.

    See: Sper Scientific Manometers

    In summary, hygrometers measure humidity, barometers measure atmospheric pressure, and manometers measure pressure in closed systems or pipelines. Each of these instruments serves a specific purpose and is essential in various fields to gather information about different environmental and fluid properties.


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