Wet Lab vs. Dry Lab: What Is the Difference? 8 Facts

When we build out any area, part of our job is to learn what the program requirements are and make sure that all of the criteria are met. This is especially important when setting up a lab.

There are many different kinds of labs, and each has its own set of rules. Some labs are very regulated and have strict rules and procedures. Wet labs and dry labs are the most basic types of labs.

Wet Lab (water based Experiments)

A wet lab is a type of laboratory where a wide range of experiments, such as titration in chemistry, light diffraction in physics, and enzyme characterization in biology, can be done, some of which may involve working with liquids.

Since chemicals and potentially dangerous wet goods are used in this type of lab, the rooms have been carefully designed, built, and operated to prevent spills and other problems.

Due to the nature of the work done in wet labs, the environment may need to be carefully studied and managed with the help of a clean-room system.

Wet labs are places where chemicals and other liquids or gases, as well as other liquid solutions or gaseous phases, are handled.

Wet Lab vs. Dry Lab

Because the work is done with liquids, wet labs need lab benches, sinks, hoods, and other safety equipment. Direct ventilation and pipes are very important for wet labs.

Wet Lab Design Considerations:

  • Lab bench tops and sinks that are easy to clean
  • Materials and finishes that are resistant to bacteria and chemicals
  • Both hot and cold water are piped in, and reverse osmosis or deionized water is often used.
  • Cabinets for biosafety
  • Chemical fume hoods
  • Facilities for taking care of live test samples
  • Specially designed refrigerators and freezers
  • Environmentally controlled zones
  • Sterilization apparatus
  • There are safety showers, places to clean your eyes, and places to wash your hands.
  • Services for sewage, trash, and air flow

Dry lab (Computer Assisted Lab)

A “dry lab” is a type of lab where computational or applied math calculations are done on computer-generated models to make them look like real-world events. The lab is set up so that you can work with dry materials, electronics, or big instruments.

The labs are only used for testing, which may require precise control of temperature, humidity, dust, and electricity.

For sensitive devices that need to stay calibrated, there are also fire suppression systems, communication integration systems, and vibration controls.

The dry lab used to be a place where dry chemicals were kept, but now it is a lab space with a network of high-tech computers. In dry labs, computers are used to do analysis, modelling, and simulations.

A dry lab is a place where computers and mathematical analysis are used to look at data. Design is just as important for these labs as it is for wet labs, but the requirements are very different.

Wet Lab vs. Dry Lab

Dry Lab Design Considerations:

  • There are a lot of HVAC controls to keep the computer lab cool and at the right level of humidity.
  • For sensitive computers, research instruments, and network communications, it is important to have power systems that are free of contaminants.
  • Vibration controls for fragile equipment that needs to be calibrated often
  • Systems for putting out fires
  • Communication systems that work well together

Differences Between Wet Lab And Dry Lab In Tabular Form

Basis of ComparisonWet LabDry Lab
DefinitionWet lab or wet laboratories are laboratories where chemicals, drugs or other biological matter are tested and analyzed using liquids.Dry lab or dry laboratories are where computational or applied mathematical analyses are done with assistance of computer generated models.
AnalysisPrimarily liquids are used in analysis.Primarily electronic equipments such as computers are used in analyzing and evaluation of bio-data.
Examples of ExperimentsExamples of experiments done in wet labs include: characterizing enzymes in biology, titration in chemistry and diffraction of light in physics.Examples of computer assisted experiments done in dry labs include: quantum state analysis, ground theory methodology, and coding and text interpretation, mapping or networking.
Inside Lab MaterialsHave materials and finishes that are resistant to bacteria and chemicals.Have clean power systems for sensitive computers, research instruments and network communication.
Lab DesignThe lab is mostly designed with Biosafety cabinets, specialized refrigerators and freezers.The labs are normally designed with HVAC controls to support cooling and humidity levels.
EquipmentsThere are different equipments and facilities with varied functions.Computers are used to carry out analysis, modeling and simulations.
Major ConsiderationBecause of the nature of the work and the handling of liquids, wet labs require benches, sinks, hoods safety equipments, direct ventilation and piping are a major consideration.Because of nature of work, an effective integrated communication system is usually a major consideration.
ExperimentsMost experiments that occur in wet labs have routine procedures and adjust to an identical pattern.Most dry lab experiments occur inside the online or offline mode.

Wet Lab vs. Dry Lab Pros and Cons

Wet Lab Pros and Cons

Pros of Wet Lab

  • The wet lab is an important part of scientific research because it deals with all kinds of liquids, chemicals, and biological materials.
  • Working in a lab can help someone learn how to use new technology and help them in their future work.
  • When you compare wet lab equipment to dry lab equipment, you can see that the wet lab equipment is more advanced.

Cons of Wet Lab

  • Wet labs use liquids and dangerous chemicals, which can be very dangerous if they are not handled correctly. Some bad reagents or changes in temperature can make the results go out of control.

Dry Lab Pros and Cons

Pros of Dry Lab

  • In the dry lab, you have to do math studies that can help you solve a wide range of difficult problems.
  • Experiments done in dry labs don’t put people or the environment in danger.
  • If you want to teach students about analysis, evaluation, and synthesis through science practice, the dry lab may be the best choice.

Cons of Dry Lab

  • If something goes wrong during a dry lab experiment, it is the fault of the researchers because the coding is wrong.
  • The dry lab doesn’t have the high-tech tools that are used in the wet lab.


What Is Dry Lab Research?

A “dry lab study” is a mathematical analysis done on a computer or other digital device.

What Is A Dry Lab Project?

A dry lab project is a type of scientific research in which scientists use computer-made models to change physical conditions.

Wet Lab vs. Dry Lab

What Is A Wet Lab in Medicine?

A medical wet lab is a place with enough ventilation and tools to do experiments and scientific research.

What Is Wet Science?

Wet science is a branch of science that does experiments with liquids and chemicals.

Is Chemistry A Wet lab?

There are both dry and wet labs in chemistry. Dried chemistry uses dry reagents and buffers, while wet chemistry uses experiments that take place in a liquid phase.


Both wet and dry labs are important to the study and analysis of science. When we compare dry lab to wet lab, however. The biggest difference between them is how their environments and tools are different.

A lab that has liquid in it is called a “wet lab.” This type of lab is made up of different pieces of equipment that handle the liquid and chemicals.

On the other hand, the Dry Lab is made up of computer-made models that are evaluated using both computations and math.

All of the math in the dry lab is done on a computer, so there is no danger.

Even though there are dangerous liquids in wet labs, researchers should know how to work in a wet lab before they do any wet-lab research.

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