Which is Better? Cool Mist Versus Warm Mist Humidifier

Which Humidifier is Right for Your Home?

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Choosing a suitable humidifier for your needs can be quite hard owing to the many options in the market. Before making this decision, you should consider several factors such as the presence of pets and kids and pricing. These determinants will enable you to narrow your choices down to a few options. Let’s get started!

Humidifiers fall into two categories: cold mist and warm mist. These appliances work to increase humidity levels while purifying the air.

Warm Mist

These gadgets work by heating water until it gets to boiling point. They then release a warm mist into the atmosphere. The good thing about this gadget is that it curbs the growth of mold and bacteria. That said, you should clean it as often as needed to ensure that the circulated mist is hygienic.

The leftover minerals can collect at the bottom and can encourage microbial growth. It is thus important to use distilled water in these gadgets.

Warm mist humidifiers also go by the name vaporizers. You can rely on these gadgets during winter when the air is cold and dry.


Given that they do not use fans in their operation, they are relatively quiet. You can thus use them in your room all night. Plus, they warm up rooms in the cold months and are available in compact sizes.


They run up utility costs owing to their high use of electricity. Also, using them in a home with pets or children is not advisable. The hot water can spill, burning those around the gadget. Maintaining these humidifiers is of the essence, and frequent cleanups are necessary.

Cold mist Humidifiers

These gadgets work to release cool mists into the air and they thus up the humidity levels. They fall into two categories: ultrasonic and evaporative. They both release mist at room temperature but feature different working mechanisms. An evaporative humidifier works using a fan and wick filter.

When water gets to the filter, the fan blows it, thereby creating a mist. For the ultrasonic humidifier, circulation of mist takes place owing to breaking down of water particles by vibrations. It works quietly as compared to an evaporative humidifier.

It helps to note that the use of tap water leads to the circulation of minerals in the form of white dust. This emission can be harmful, and it is thus essential that you use distilled water in the tanks.

Cool mist humidifiers are great when it comes to adding moisture to large rooms or buildings.


These gadgets do not use as much electricity as their warm mist counterparts as they do not warm the water. They are great for use around children and pets, and they are available at affordable prices. Additionally, they come in portable sizes.


If not cleaned properly, these gadgets encourage the growth of mold and bacteria. These microorganisms can be harmful to one’s health when inhaled. In some cases, they can aggravate allergies. Furthermore, where you use a humidifier with a fan, filter changes are frequent. The costs of maintenance can thus be high.

Bottom Line

Cool mist humidifiers are more common than their warm mist counterparts, more so because of safety. Additionally, they have more options available to users. Warm mist humidifiers are great for people with congestion as they help in alleviating the symptoms. However, they are not safe for use around pets or children.

Where you wish to use a humidifier in cold months, the warm mist humidifier is your best bet. However, for spring and summer, the cold mist humidifier is the ideal option. You could also buy a gadget with both options, such that you can get the best of both worlds.

About the author

Jessica Nickson

Jessica Nickson

Jessica Nickson is a keen home and garden innovator with over 25 years of hands-on experience in, home improvement, landscape gardening and all things appliance related to making life easier and more interesting. You can contact her via e-mail - jessica@thehomedweller.com.

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