June 13, 2022

Ultimate Baby Humidifier Buying Guide

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The most important thing to consider when buying a humidifier is the type of humidity you want your baby to have in their room. There are two main types of humidifiers, warm mist and cool mist. The main difference between them is that warm mist creates a warmer environment for babies while cool mist creates a cooler environment. In this article we will discuss the pros and cons of each type so you can decide which one best suits your needs. Also be sure to check out our picks for the top 3 baby humidifiers in 2022 and a complete article on baby humidifier product reviews.

Recommended

Vicks Humidifier

Overall Rating: 5/5

  • It is an essential part of a good night’s sleep
  • It also works with Vicks VapoPads for extra soothing comfort
  • Because of it's efficient motor it's a great choice for a small room humidifier
  • It automatically shuts off when the tank is empty

Honeywell Humidifier

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

  • Top-fill humidifier quietly produces an invisible cool mist
  • Designed for large sized rooms and features a digital humidistat that displays current & set humidity levels
  • Features a removeable top fill tank that's easy to fill at the sink or with a water pitcher
  • Can run for up to 24 hours with the low settings

Crane Humidifier

Overall Rating: 4.3/5

  • The device features both a warm mist humidifier function and a personal steam inhaler function 
  • An auto shutoff safety function is built in if the unit runs out of water, overheats, or is not assembled properly.
  • Has a 0.5 gallon tank capacity and can run whisper quite for up to 8 hours
  • A non-medicated alternative to over the counter cough and cold medicine

What Does A Humidifier Do?

A humidifier is a unit that adds moisture to the air inside your home. It works by spraying water into the air, which then evaporates and forms a cooling mist that's perfect for combating dry skin and other harmful stuff! Mostly every manufacturer provides a detailed and informational manual like Vicks humidifier instructions manual , to help you get informed on how to use Vicks humidifier for example.

How Does A Humidifier Work?

Humidifiers work by one of four different methods:

  1. Steam humidifiers boil water into a fine mist;
  2. Ultrasonic humidifiers pass water through a high-frequency electric field, causing the water to form a fine mist;
  3. Impeller humidifiers pass air over the top of very fast rotating discs that have been treated with lubricants or are made from neoprene. The air blows across the hydrophobic surface, picking up tiny droplets of water, which can then be dispersed into the air;
  4. Evaporative humidifiers work across a range of speeds to pass air over a blade designed to 'wet' or break upon each pass. These blades are then allowed to dry until the next pass of the fan blows them apart again, causing water droplets of a specific size to be blown into the room.

Humidifier Benefits

Many pediatricians discourage the use of cold medicines with babies. This can leave parents feeling helpless about how to help their little ones. A humidifier provides continuous moisture that soothes the throat and opens up nasal passages. This can make breathing easier for your child and can help you and your child get some rest.

Helps Baby Sleep 

Some babies have difficulty staying asleep or sleeping through the night. This is especially true if they have congestion. If it's time for your baby to start sleeping through the night, you may want to add a humidifier to the room. The white noise emitted by the humidifier is comforting and can help lull your little one to sleep.

Soothes Chapped Lips For Breastfeeding

A baby's lips can become chapped from dry air in the room. A humidifier adds moisture to the air, easing discomfort and gently softening lips. It can also help breastfeed go more smoothly because you won't have to keep separating to soothe your baby's irritated skin.

A humidifier can be an important part of your child's nursery. They can reduce respiratory problems and soothe irritated skin and lips. This may help you and your baby get the rest you both need to stay healthy all year long.

Softens And Prevents Dry Skin 

Most babies have dry skin. And, their sensitive skin can become cracked and irritated in the winter when the heat is turned on. A humidifier adds moisture to the air that can help soothe dry, chapped skin. It's especially helpful for your baby's delicate scalp during those 6 months of cradle cap. A humidifier keeps your baby's skin soft and moisturized, which can help prevent eczema.

Eases Coughing And Congestion 

When the weather starts to get cold, people start coughing and sneezing. A dry indoor environment increases this risk because it dries out mucus membranes. A humidifier keeps air moist, which can help prevent coughing and congestion. It's especially helpful for babies who suffer from asthma.

Softens The Air For Allergies 

A humidifier helps ease allergies by adding moisture to your baby's room. With less dryness, people are less likely to experience allergy symptoms such as stuffy noses and itchy eyes. A moist room can also help reduce the risk of a serious respiratory infection.

Helps With Cradle Cap & Eczema

Newborns are frequently afflicted with cradle cap, eczema, and other Itching skin problems. You may bathe your newborn using a mild baby wash and apply creams and lotions as advised by your doctor. But there's plenty more you can do. Humidifiers can't cure these problems, but they can help soften rough, dry areas of cradle cap and eczema, which may lead to less redness and irritation. On the other hand, it is another useful tool that may help you ease the symptoms of these difficult skin diseases.

Helps With Asthma And Respiratory Problems

Some babies inherit asthma from their parents or develop respiratory problems that can become worse when there's a lack of moisture in the room. A humidifier helps improve breathing, making it easier to sleep at night. It's also a great way to soothe a stuffy nose caused by cold or allergies.

Reduces Viruses And Bacteria 

During the winter, these ailments are all too prevalent; infants are especially susceptible to them. When you heat your house, the dry indoor air puts your infant at risk because it is ideal for germs and viruses. This puts your infant at risk.

A humidifier provides the air with enough moisture. Bacteria and viruses can't travel as well in the damp air. A humidifier adds an additional protection barrier between your child and these seasonal diseases by adding a layer of moisture to the air.

Of course, using a humidifier isn't always enough to prevent your infant from getting sick. As a result, be sure to discuss all of the preventive measures you can take with your pediatrician.

Prevents Snoring

A humidifier may help keep the air moist, which prevents snoring. If you notice that your baby's snoring has been worse lately, a humidifier could be the solution. Just remember to always use distilled water for your baby's room to reduce any risk of bacterial growth or mineral buildup on metal parts.

Types Of Baby Humidifiers

Warm and cool mist humidifiers are the most common types. Warm and cool mist humidifiers are often advised for children by healthcare providers. This is because hot water or steam in warm mist humidifiers can be dangerous.

There are three types of cool mist humidifiers:

  • Ultrasonic Humidifier
  • Evaporative humidifiers
  • Impeller Humidifier

Warm Mist Humidifiers

Most warm mist humidifiers are made with a heating element that produces steam. These humidifiers make a soft humming sound and are quieter than most cool mist humidifiers. They are less expensive than most cool mist models and less likely to break. Most warm mist humidifiers emit warm vapor, which t makes the room feel warmer; if you turn the heat down, it can help your baby breathe easier. One of the biggest drawbacks of a warm mist humidifier is the potential for burns. When the unit is on, the tank contains hot water. If there is a spill or fall, your little one can get hurt from the steam nozzle. Make sure to place the unit and cord out of your baby's reach, even if they're not fully mobile yet, to keep them safe. You should also be careful to always use distilled or demineralized water in a warm mist humidifier. The minerals leftover from using tap water can leave white dust on surfaces and could get into your baby's lungs, causing breathing problems. You can also use it as a cough suppressant;  just add Vicks humidifier liquid medication what produces steam that helps to relieve coughs from colds.

Cool Mist Humidifiers

These humidifiers use only cold water, so they don't carry the same burning risk as to the warm mist models. They add moisture into the air and soothe dry skin, chapped lips, and clogged nasal passages.

The water in the tank stays cold. But cool mist humidifiers carry their own potential risks. You must clean and maintain them regularly to avoid mold and bacteria growing in the tank.

A well-maintained cool-mist humidifier poses little risk to your baby's health. They're easy to use and are a popular choice with new mothers.

Both cool and warm mist humidifiers are good for your baby's general health and wellbeing.

Both types of humidifiers work well. But many pediatricians prefer warm mist vaporizers because steam kills bacteria that can be harmful to your child.

  • Ultrasonic Humidifier

This is the most recent type of humidifier design, and it makes use of a high-frequency sound wave. This sound wave vibrates the water at a high frequency, turning it into mist and dispelling it into the atmosphere. These filter types don't use normal filters but use a particular demineralization cartridge that removes mineral residues from the water before mystifying it. The downside to this type is that it is known to leave white residue on the surface of objects in the room; this is due to the minerals in the water used.

  • Evaporative humidifiers

These types of humidifiers make use of a fan and wick filter to operate properly. The device runs the fan after it has been turned on, and the fan blows air towards the wick filter, causing the water to evaporate and release a mist into the atmosphere. This process also lowers the temperature in the room because the moisture created by the humidifier extracts surrounding heat from the air. This humidifier type also consumes very little energy, saving costs on electric bills and releasing noise that could irritate some people.

  • Impeller Humidifier

This humidifier type contains a rotating disc and diffuser. It operates by using the rotating disc in sending water through the diffuser. The job of the diffuser is to break this water into smaller droplets and send these little droplets into the air. Still, it shouldn't be used with tap water because it could expel micro-organisms and mineral substances into the atmosphere.

Things To Consider When Buying A Humidifier

To buy the best humidifier for your needs, check out your options and choose one that suits you and provides you with the desired features.

Room Size

Most humidifiers will work well in a small-size nursery or room. If you plan to spend time with your baby is larger spaces, make sure to get a larger model.

Some people prefer to buy more than one humidifier, but they are portable, so you can move them from room to room as needed or even take them on trips with you. What matters most is that there is enough humidity in the environment for your baby's comfort and safety.

Appearance

As humidifiers become more popular for nurseries, you can find them in bright colors and cute animal themes which are kid-friendly. You can choose one that matches your nursery decor too.

Lighting

Some humidifiers have a nightlight feature that provides a gentle glow in your baby's room. You'll be able to check on your little ones without turning on the overhead lights when they wake up in the middle of the night.

Cleaning

Choose a humidifier that's easy to clean so you can spend more time with your baby and less time maintaining the humidifier.

How To Clean A Humidifier Step By Step:

Cleaning ensures the water vapor output of the humidifier is not contaminated, minimizing potential health risks to the users. Additionally, it reduces unpleasant smells and bacteria buildup in the humidifier, extending its lifetime.

  1. Clean the water tank with a solution of vinegar and cold water.

  2. Scrub down the entire unit with a brush and cloth soaked in soapy water. If you want to be absolutely sure all calcium deposits are gone, use white distilled vinegar. Let this sit for at least 30 minutes, then rinse it off with warm water.

  3. Take apart the unit by removing the upper housing if possible. If not, don't worry-- you can clean this without removing it.

  4. Soak parts in a solution of about one cup of vinegar to two cups of warm water for an hour or more. Scrub them down with a brush.

  5. Rinse them in warm water.

  6. Make a vinegar solution of one tablespoon of white distilled vinegar per gallon of warm water. Run this through the machine, making sure it trickles out the mist outlets and comes out the other end where the tank attaches.

  7. Let all parts air dry for an hour or more before reassembling and using.

Home Humidifiers can be a great way to make your life more comfortable, but they come with their own set of risks and considerations. Here are some tips for making sure yours is as safe as it can possibly be:

  • Fill the water tank with cool tap water that has been filtered using a carbon filter. Do not use distilled or mineralized water.

  • Regularly use a descaling solution like vinegar, citric acid crystals, or a commercial cleaner to prevent calcium buildup on the humidifier's heating element and other parts. Never use soap or detergents as they can leave residue behind that is impossible to remove.

  • Consider purchasing a humidifier with a built-in heating unit. This will allow you to use the same device in both winter and summer.

  • Only run humidifiers when people are around to monitor them, particularly children. After using it, always empty the tank and store it somewhere safe until morning or refill it if it continues to run through the night.

  • Make sure your home is ventilated well, but never aim a fan directly at the humidifier. This will increase the risk of bacteria growth.

  • Read the instructions before using your humidifier for the first time or if you have not used it in six months.

Keep your humidifier clean by emptying, rinsing, and refilling it with fresh water daily. The frequency of this will depend on the humidity in your home and how often it is running.

Use distilled water to fill the tank if you live in an area with hard water or pollution that can cause particles to build up in the unit.

How Close Should A Humidifier Be To Your Baby?

There is no standard for the recommended distance that a humidifier should be kept from your baby. There are several factors to consider when deciding this, but first, what type of humidifier you are using must be established. There are two types: cool and warm mist.

If you have a cool-mist humidifier, the water inside is cooled to a certain temperature before evaporating into the air stream. This may be a concern for your baby because the vapor/water particles could contain chemicals from cleaning or disinfecting solutions and minerals from hard water. Also, a cold mist humidifier does not filter or exchange water vapor as warm mist humidifiers do; this means that if you use the device in a small room with poor ventilation, it could potentially "saturate" the air to such an extent that your baby's lungs would be exposed to too much moisture (this condition is called respiratory distress and is not generally found in infancy).

If you have a warm mist humidifier, the water inside reaches temperatures around 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This may also be concerning because of burn potential (like any other hot appliance), but it is generally considered safe for your baby if used properly. Portable models are especially popular since they can be moved from room to room and kept away from your baby while being used. Although they have the same burn potential as a traditional warm mist model, it is far less likely that your baby will come in contact with any of the hot parts because of their smaller size.

If you do not use a humidifier for your infant, there are ways to use steam from the bathroom to alleviate congestion. A rule of thumb is not to expose your baby to vapor from a warm shower or bath for too long, even if you think the humidity level in the air is increased. Also, remember that a humidifier can make a room feel warmer, and this may result in your baby waking because she feels too hot.

If you use a humidifier, the biggest concern is the amount of mist that might be left behind on soft furnishings and toys. There is no conclusive evidence that this poses any risk to your baby. Still, it makes more sense to move anything that may retain these particles away for fear of them being sucked into your baby's respiratory system or accidentally ingested. It also makes sense to wipe down the unit's exterior from time to time, depending on how it is used and where it stands in relation to your baby.

If you are choosing a humidifier specifically for your baby's room, several factors need to be considered:

The warm mist humidifiers have a higher risk of causing burns if your baby puts her hands or other objects into the water. Although this risk is low, parents should be aware of it and avoid using these models with children less than 3 years old.

Episodes of fever can result in babies breathing rapidly because they are trying to lose heat through their respiratory surfaces (lungs). If the warm mist humidifier is used during this time, it will cause a rise in temperature that can be potentially dangerous.

The cool mist humidifiers risk "wicking" water up through the nebulizer and into the air stream, where it could disturb respiratory passages. It would also generally only have a limited amount of time before the water becomes cold.

The cool mist models do not have a heating element, which means that mineral deposits from hard water will be left behind at the bottom of the unit. This may make them difficult to clean, but they are less likely to spread minerals into the air stream or leave them on soft furnishings because of evaporation.

Humidifier Vs. Diffuser: What's The Difference?

If you want more moisture in the air in your house, a humidifier is required. A diffuser is a correct item if you only want to add fragrance to the air but not moisture. Diffusers simply do not have enough water capacity to affect a room's humidity level.

Humidifier close up

Humidifier

  • Purpose - Adds moisture to the air
  • Benefit - Relieves dry air discomforts, like dry skin, scratchy throat and stuffy nose
  • Method - Uses water to raise humidity level in room
  • Size - Tank usually holds at least a half-gallon of water
Diffuser close up

Diffuser

  • Purpose - Adds fragrance to the room
  • Benefit - Provides aromatherapy, without increasing room humidity
  • Method - Uses water to disperse essential oil into air
  • Size - Reservoir usually holds less than a cup of water

A humidifier is a device that emits cool mist or warm mist to increase the humidity of a room. The two types of humidifiers are evaporative and ultrasonic. An evaporative humidifier, also called a wick-type, has a rotating disk with fibers (the wick) that draws water out of its reservoir and into the air. A fan blows air through the moist wick and back into the room as humid air. Ultrasonic humidifiers use high-frequency vibrations to turn water into a fine mist.

Humidifiers can be used in any season, but they are particularly helpful during winter when homes get heated and indoor humidity levels decrease. When the air is cold, the air can hold less water. This makes it dry and irritated. Inhaling dry air over a long period results in dry skin, chapped lips, red eyes, bloody noses, sinus problems and even cracked woodwork. Using a humidifier or vaporizer adds moisture back into the air to keep your home comfortable and healthy. Combined with a programmable thermostat, you can maintain your home at the desired temperature while still providing the humidity levels that are healthier for your home and family.

A diffuser is an aromatherapy device that diffuses scented oil into the air. Most types of oil will work in a diffuser. The oil is either combined with water or put in a cartridge that plugs into the diffuser. When you turn it on, the heat from the small light bulb underneath breaks apart the oil molecules so they can float freely in the air. Diffusers are much smaller than humidifiers and work best when placed next to you while at home or in your office. You can clean a diffuser by wiping it down with a damp cloth, but it should never be submerged in water.

Humidifiers and diffusers have their own benefits. Use both during winter to add moisture back into the air at home to keep you healthy and comfortable.

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