When you're choosing a humidifier the main choice you need to make is between a cool mist humidifier and a warm mist humidifier.
Warm mist humidifiers boil water to create steam. This is then sprayed into the atmosphere of your room to increase the amount of moisture in the air.
Cool mist humidifiers come in two types - evaporative humidifiers and ultrasonic humidifiers:
- Evaporative - In an evaporative humidifier a fan pulls in warm air from the room and uses it to evaporate water held inside a wick. The air becomes more humid as water naturally evaporates and is carried away.
- Ultrasonic - Rather than use a fan an ultrasonic humidifier uses high-frequency ultrasonic vibrations to evaporate the water which makes them significantly quieter.
Cool mist humidifier benefits tend to outweigh those of the warm mist variety, and cool mist versions are typically more popular. Below we look at some of the key benefits of purchasing a cool mist humidifier and how it equals or is better than the warm mist humidifier in each area.
Cool Mist Humidifier Benefits: Comfort
One of the main reasons to get a humidifier is for the comfort and health benefits they can give you and your family. Increasing the humidity in the room can help alleviate asthma and allergic reactions as well as provide comfort for anyone with a cold.
Increasing the humidity keeps the inside of your nasal passages well lubricated which can help you heal faster and generally increases sinus health. A humidifier can also help prevent snoring which can bring a significant increase in the quality-level of your sleep (or your partners!).
Cool Mist Humidifier Benefits: Safety
A cool mist humidifier is the preferred option to a warm mist humidifier for safety reasons. Because a warm mist humidifier boils water to create steam there is a risk of children or pets burning themselves on the unit, for this reason any room likely to be accessed by children or pets should have a cool mist humidifier rather than a warm one.
Cool Mist Humidifier Benefits: Cost
Because a warm mist humidifier uses heat to boil water it uses more energy than a cool water humidifier that only uses a fan. If you are considering having your humidifier on for large portions of the day or are considering buying more than one humidifier for your home then the extra cost will stack up. By buying a cool water humidifier you could save a noticeable amount over time.
Cool Mist Humidifier Benefits: Area Covered
Cool mist humidifiers tend to spread their affects over a much wider area, warm mist humidifiers tend to have a more concentrated effect close to the humidifier with less effect further away. For this reason for the smallest rooms you might prefer a warm mist humidifier but most rooms are better suited to being equipped with a small mist humidifier.
In conclusion, while the warm mist humidifier does have its benefits it loses out to the cool mist humidifier in key areas of safety, cost and area covered.
For most users looking to improve their comfort and health it is recommended that they opt for the cool mist humidifier.