Hot vs. Cold: Which Humidifier is Right for You?

June 05, 2013 2 min read

Humidifiers treat congestion and irritated airways by adding moisture to the air. This moisturizing mist can be warm or cool, depending on your preferences. Just what temperature is right for you? Read on to find out.

Warm Mist HumidifierWarm Mist humidifiers sanitize and heat up the water inside the unit via a heating element, releasing warm steam into the room. They’re a little bit quieter than cool mist humidifiers, but also tend to be larger. Warm mist humidifiers are not ideal for children, since the hot water and heating element can pose a burn risk (don’t put these units on carpet!).

You might wish to purchase a warm mist humidifier if: 

  • You want a machine that makes little noise;
  • You live in a colder area, or plan on using the unit during the winter months;
  • You are willing to pay a little more for an additional level of sanitation;
  • You are not concerned about anyone touching the heating part of the unit;
  • You seek to humidify a relatively small space.

Traditionally Shaped Cool Mist HumidifierCool Mist humidifiers pass water over a wick to expel a vapor – ultrasonically, or through an absorbent paper-based material - that cools down the temperature of the room with a refreshing mist. Because there is no heating element, these units tend to be less expensive and safer for children; they also use cooling fans, which make noise. Non-ultrasonic machines require quite a bit of cleaning to prevent bacterial growth – the water must be changed every day, and the unit should be thoroughly cleaned at least once every 3 days.

You might wish to purchase a cool mist humidifier if: 

  • Silence is not as high a priority;
  • You live in a warmer area, or plan on using the unit during the summer months;
  • You want a unit that is affordable and effective;
  • You live with small children, pets, and/or the elderly;
  • You seek to humidify a relatively large space.

In many ways, warm and cool mist humidifiers serve the same purposes – they’re both terrific for people suffering from sinus headaches, allergies, asthma, or other related issues. There are certainly differences between the two types of units, but it all comes down to matters of personal preference. Just in case you can’t decide, we even sell humidifiers that offer both hot and cool mist. Check out our selection of humidifiers - hot or cold, Just Nebulizers has you covered!