Home Improvement

How to Choose Between a Cool Mist Humidifier and a Warm Mist Humidifier

A humidifier is a wonderful item to invest in to boost the comfort of your home. With a humidifier, you can better control the moisture levels in the air of any room that you place it in, which can be especially helpful during the dry summer and chilly winter months. Additionally, humidifiers can provide relief to those who suffer from frequent allergies and occasional colds, as the moisture that they add to the air can help to reduce nasal congestion.

When looking for the right humidifier to invest in, you’re going to want to decide whether you want a cool mist humidifier or a warm mist humidifier. While both types of humidifiers can help in maintaining comfortable humidity levels and relieving nasal discomfort, each have different features that set them apart from each other. In order to choose which humidifier is right for you, you’ll want to consider the main purpose that you’re getting it for, the people in your home that might be impacted by it, and the operational needs of the device.

If you’re not sure whether to choose a cool mist humidifier or a warm mist humidifier, we’re here to help with a breakdown that details what each of these helpful machines can do.

What Is a Cool Mist Humidifier?

A cool mist humidifier is a form of humidifier that turns distilled cold water into cool water vapor that is released into the air to increase the relative moisture level in a room. There are a few main types of cool mist humidifiers, which operate in slightly different ways to produce the same desired effects:


An ultrasonic cool mist humidifier creates water vapor thanks to ultrasonic plates within the device that vibrate and turn liquid particles into mist. These types of humidifiers tend to be quieter than evaporative or impeller humidifiers, so if you tend to be a light sleeper, an ultrasonic cool mist humidifier might be right for you.


An evaporative cool mist humidifier creates water vapor through the use of an internal fan, which blows the water particles through an absorbent material, creating mist. An evaporative cool mist humidifier tends to be a bit loud thanks to the fan mechanism, so you’ll have to be alright with some noise when you’re running it.


An impeller cool mist humidifier uses an internal disk that rotates at incredibly high speeds in order to create mist. The rotating parts of an impeller cool mist humidifier tends to make it as loud as an evaporative humidifier, so it’s best to avoid it if you need total quiet for work and sleep.

Who is a Cool Mist Humidifier Best For? 

A cool mist humidifier can be used by anyone, however, they are typically recommended as safer for use with children than warm mist humidifiers. This is due to the fact that warm mist humidifiers contain heating mechanisms that pose the risk of burns if accidentally knocked over, as well as a potential fire hazard if left plugged in improperly. As such, if you’ve got little ones around, you’ll want to choose a cool mist humidifier. Just be sure that you clean your cool mist humidifier often, as bacteria and mold can build up in the water compartment if not properly taken care of.

What Is a Warm Mist Humidifier? 

A warm mist humidifier is a form of humidifier that uses an internal heating mechanism to warm up water and turn it into steam water vapor. Warm mist humidifiers are especially useful in clearing nasal and chest congestion, as the hot moisture that they add to the air helps to loosen mucus in the nose and lungs. Given this, warm mist humidifiers can be essential for those who suffer from annoying seasonal allergies, or those who are battling a stubborn cold virus or flu.

As mentioned above, warm mist humidifiers can pose potential fire and burn hazards, so they’re best to keep out of reach of children. In addition to this, you should never set a warm mist humidifier down on an upholstered or other flammable surface when it’s running, in order to avoid the risk of anything catching fire. Additionally, it’s important to clean your warm mist humidifier thoroughly as you would a cool mist humidifier.

In Conclusion

Cool mist humidifiers and warm mist humidifiers both do an excellent job at helping to increase the level of relative moisture in the air so that you and your family members can breathe more easily when the weather gets too dry. It’s important to consider the different types of humidifiers in order to decide which one is right for you. For instance, if you’ve got kids or need total quiet to sleep, you’ll want to get an ultrasonic cool mist humidifier. Or, if you tend to battle bad congestion and don’t have any little ones around, you might want a warm mist humidifier instead. Whichever type of humidifier you choose, it’s sure to help you live a happier, healthier life.

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