The Benefits of Warm Mist Versus Cool Mist


If you’re looking to purchase a humidifier, you may be asking yourself which one is better, warm mist vs cool mist humidifiers? They both have their own pros and cons, as well as health benefits.

While you can’t go wrong with either, there’s definitely a large difference between the two. Either way, you’ll experience the great benefits associated with a humidifier, including:

  • Improved sleep
  • Moisturized skin
  • Brightens dull hair
  • Clears congestion
  • Prevents nosebleeds

Warm Mist Humidifier Pros and Cons

Warm mist humidifiers use a heating element to boil the water inside and make steam. Before the steam leaves the device, it’s cooled to an appropriate temperature to prevent burns from occurring. However, you should still keep them away from kids and pets, just in case.

Warm mist humidifiers are better at reducing germs and bacteria and are all around the better choice if you’re sick. You can also use them with medicated products, like vapo rub to improve congestion and cough relief.

Vaporizers operate without an internal fan, so they’re much quieter when compared to cool-mist humidifiers. However, because they have a heating element, they also use more electricity and can pose a risk to children and pets.

Vaporizers may also aggravate eczema symptoms, as eczema thrives in warm, damp climates.


  • Better at reducing germs and bacteria
  • Quieter than cool-mist humidifiers
  • Warm and comforting in the winter


  • Hot steam can be a safety hazard
  • Uses much more energy

Cool Mist Humidifier Pros and Cons

Cool-mist humidifiers use a fan to evaporate water in the air, resulting in a much colder mist. They’re great for year-round use, as they can provide some relief on hot summer days. They may be too cold for use in the winter, especially if your heating system makes your air too dry.

The fan often makes humidifiers louder than vaporizers, meaning you might not want to use them at night. There are quieter options available for sale, but they tend to be more expensive.

Cool-mist humidifiers need to be cleaned frequently in order to prevent bacteria from building up. Mold can also grow inside of a humidifier if you don’t clean it regularly.

There are also ultrasonic humidifiers that work by using a high-speed vibrating plate to turn water into a fine mist. These are much quieter than evaporative humidifiers that rely on loud fans.


  • Safe for use around kids and pets
  • Can be used all year
  • More energy efficient


  • May accumulate bacterial growth
  • Require more cleaning
  • Fan technology is louder than warm mist options

Which One is Better?

If you’re trying to decide between a warm-mist and cool-mist humidifier, you should set write down the reasons you want one. Are you looking to use it when you get sick? Do you want to be able to use it for your child or in rooms where your pets are?

Do you want a humidifier that’s quiet? Are you hoping to use it all year round?

Take this information and look at the pros and cons of each product to help you decide which one is best for you. For example, if you’re looking for a humidifier to help relieve your cold symptoms, you’d be better off purchasing the warm mist humidifier.

If you’re looking to use a humidifier year-round and in the presence of babies and animals, the cool mist is the best option for you.

Additionally, neither option is very expensive, with cool-mist humidifiers ranging from $30 to $45 and warm-mist humidifiers ranging from $15 to $40. You could always get one of each and use them both as you see fit.

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