Cool Mist vs Hot Mist Humidifier

Which is Best: Cool Mist VS Warm Mist Humidifiers

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If you have noticed the air in your house is drier than normal and you can’t seem to clear the frog out of your throat, it is possible the humidity levels are out of whack.

Maybe you have a skin condition that is flaring up without any reason or your nose is dry, with nosebleeds happening frequently. It seems like a strange concept, that you would willingly want to add water to your home, but it can actually help.

Humidity in the air of your home can improve many respiratory issues, moisturize your skin, and maintain the integral structure of your house in ways that you never imagined.

But how can you add moisture to the air of your home without drenching your belongings or leaving things soggy and damp? With a humidifier of course!

Humidifiers are household devices that monitor the levels of dryness in your home and add water droplets to the air for a specified amount of time. Ranging in price from $30.00 to $500.00; a humidifier can become one of your most treasured products in no time but only when it is used properly!

There are many kinds of humidifiers to choose from, with models being available for single rooms in the home or models available that are installed directly into a structure’s central air system.

There are massive devices that are best suited in an industrial-style setup or smaller devices that are portable with one hand to each room that will omit either a warm or cool mist.

Both warm mist and cool mist humidifiers omit a mist to the air, and are available in multiple models but what is the best option? Is there one? Let’s find out!

What is a Humidifier?


To determine if a cool mist or warm mist humidifier is best suited for your home, first, it is important to understand what exactly a humidifier is and what purpose this device serves. Humidifiers are an appliance that increases the levels of water vapor in the air, allowing the air in your home to maintain a proper balance between damp and dry.

Humidifiers, except for the central air models, will need a steady source of power to run their internal components. This power source can be electricity, batteries, or even propane. There will be a power button to turn the humidifier on and off, with high-end models offering the feature of a timer and automatic shut-off switch. If your humidifier draws its power from electricity, a power cord should be present to plug into a typical wall outlet. A humidifier should burn no more than 20 watts of electricity during each use but if you do notice a major increase on your utility bill, your unit may be defective or past its expiration date.

cool mist

Cool Mist


  • Use less electricity
  • Safer
  • Less expensive


  • Doesn’t kill bacteria
  • Fans can be noisy

Warm Mist


  • Kills bacteria and viruses
  • Better for cold and flu
  • Easier to clean


  • Costs more than cool mist
  • Safety hazard for small children

Cool Mist Humidifiers


A cool mist humidifier is probably the type of humidifier you have seen before, in your friend’s homes or your families, as it is the most commonly sold humidifier on the market. These humidifiers increase the level of water vapor in the air by omitting a cool mist throughout the residence with the use of a rotating disk or propeller fan. This disc (fan) will rotate with enough force that it will remove water from the water reservoir located on the device changing it into microscopic droplets that dampen the air with a cool feeling mist. It must be noted that a cool mist humidifier can change the temperature of the room, so use in cold climates might not be recommended.

One of the most common complaints about the cool mist humidifiers, along with their counterpart of a warm mist humidifier, is the noise levels. Where a rapidly rotating fan or disk is used to create water vapor, it can be louder than expected when in operation.

How Can It Help?

Dry air in a home can not only create fire hazards, it can also affect the human body. Rashes are common, with a moisturizer unable to sink into the skin deep enough to make a difference. Breathing becomes harder, as the dry air will also leave your throat dry and scratchy, with each breath irritating your lungs as you force the dry air into them.


People who suffer from allergies or frequent viruses find that dry air allows their symptoms to increase and actually linger. Using a humidifier adds moisture to the lungs and mucous linings, relieving those dry, itchy eyes and raw throat. Your nose linings can also dry out in arid conditions, cracking and bleeding so nosebleeds become common.

Warm Mist Humidifiers


A warm mist humidifier will have the same internal operating system as a cool mist humidifier, with a rapidly rotating disk or fan suctioning water from the reservoir with enough force to create tiny droplets of moisture. It will then be expelled into the air of the home, omitting a controlled water vapor to ensure the correct balance between dry and damp.

The key difference between a cool mist and a warm mist humidifier is, without a doubt, the temperature of the mist being expelled into the air. A warm mist humidifier will omit a warm steam that will heat up the temperature in a room, allowing for a reduction in home heating costs but also creating a potential burn hazard.

If you do choose a warm mist humidifier, take care to place it in a location where the warm mist isn’t directed to the skin of any residents of your home or in a location that is easily accessible to pets, children, etc. This humidifier can cause burns, as it is essentially releasing hot steam into the air, and we all know how painful a steam burn can be.

How Can It Help?

How Can It Help

A warm mist humidifier can offer the same health benefits that a cool mist humidifier offers to its users. It releases water vapor in the air to correct the balance of dry and damp, with a mist being omitted only when it is in operation. A warm mist humidifier should not create a drastic change to your monthly utility bill and if you do notice a steadily rising increase, it could be time to change your unit or contact the seller with questions about warranty and repair.

The Best Option

Woman thinking

The best option between a cool or warm mist humidifier is that there isn’t one. It becomes the best option that suits your needs and wants. Maybe you have a small toddler who is full of mischievous curiosity or a pet that sleeps and plays on the floors of your home; if so, a cool mist humidifier might be best for you.

But maybe you live in a cold climate that experiences drops in temperatures at a frequent pace and your home heating costs are at an all-time high. If so, maybe a warm mist humidifier that can help increase the temperature of the room is your best option.


The biggest difference between the cool mist and warm mist humidifiers is exactly what the device name suggests; the temperature of the water-laden mist that is being omitted from your device. Think it over before deciding on buying the first humidifier you see at your local department store or pharmacy.

Take your time to make a well-informed purchase and decide what option will be best for you. Speak to a trusted healthcare professional if you have any existing skin conditions or respiratory problems to determine if a humidifier is truly welcome in your home.

Don’t let a dry throat, itchy eyes, or scaly patches of skin overstay their welcome, and instead? Banish them with a soothing controlled water vapor that will float gently through the air of your home!

Cool Mist vs Hot Mist Humidifier

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