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If the air in your baby’s room is extremely dry, it can be difficult for them to breathe easily. A cool-mist humidifier may be the answer.
Whether your pediatrician has suggested a cool-mist humidifier or you’ve seen one at a fellow parent’s house, this is an attempt to answer the question: Which is the best cool mist humidifier baby rooms?
What Is a Humidifier?
A humidifier is a machine that fixes dry air by making it moist again.
When the temperature drops in winter, humidity levels drop with it because cold air can’t hold as much moisture as warm air. When people heat their homes to counter the cold, the humidity levels drop even lower, as low as 10%, drier than the Sahara Desert, if you can believe it!
According to the Center for Disease Control, ideal humidity levels indoors should be kept somewhere between around 30 and 60%. Any lower and you’ll have problems with dry skin, a drier nose and throat, static electricity, mold growth, and a host of other problems.
What Kind of Humidifier Is Best for a Baby?
There are two types of humidifiers based on the temperature of the mist they produce: cool-mist humidifiers or vaporizers and warm-mist humidifiers or steam vaporizers.
Cool-Mist Humidifier vs. Warm-Mist Humidifier
Even though both types are equally effective in humidifying the air, pediatricians recommend always using a cool-mist humidifier because it’s the safer option.
The danger doesn’t lie in the mist itself. By the time it reaches a child’s airways, the mist is the same temperature regardless of the humidifier type.
Warm-mist humidifiers work by heating the water into hot steam. The hot steam could burn a child if they get too close to the machine. Also, the boiling water itself could spill and burn the child.
Evaporative Cool-Mist Humidifier vs. Ultrasonic Cool-Mist Humidifier
The only evaporative cool-mist humidifier in my list is also my top pick. Many people prefer ultrasonic cool-mist humidifiers, which do have their advantages. I happen to prefer the evaporative cool-mist type.
Ultrasonic cool-mist humidifiers work using a tiny motor. It makes the water in the tank vibrate at a literally ultrasonic speed, hence the name.
The water particles are then sent out into the air through the nozzle, which is why you see the white cloud-like mist.
Evaporative cool-mist humidifiers work using a fan and a filter. The fan pulls air into the humidifier, forcing it to move through the filter that absorbs the water. The moisture is then forced out into the room. The filter also traps all the particles and minerals in the water, protecting your baby from breathing them in, which is a huge advantage over the ultrasonic type.
Another advantage to the filter in evaporative cool-mist humidifiers is that the furniture isn’t covered in the white dust famously caused by ultrasonic cool-mist humidifiers.
By contrast, ultrasonic cool-mist humidifiers don’t have a fan and therefore tend to be quieter than their evaporative counterparts. They also have no filters and thus require no filter replacements, which is a pricey drawback to evaporative cool-mist humidifiers.
Benefits of a Cool-Mist Humidifier
There are many benefits to a cool-mist humidifier. I list a few right here:
You can certainly sit with your baby in a steamy bathroom to help relieve their congestion, but it’s hardly practical, especially if you’ve got a congested baby who needs to sleep.
Another reason this isn’t sustainable is that you can’t run a hot shower in your bathroom all night, which is when coughing tends to get worse.
With a cool-mist humidifier, your child can fall asleep in the comfort of their own bed and sleep through the night, which gives you a chance for some sorely needed rest.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends putting a cool-mist humidifier in a child’s room if they come down with a cold. The moisture will help thin the liquid that’s making the child’s nose stuffy thinner, making it easier for them to breathe.
Pediatricians will often recommend using humidifiers first before potentially harmful cough and cold medicines. A humidifier is a safe, natural alternative to help relieve congestion from the common cold and flu. Of course you should always consult your doctor if your child is sick or has any symtoms.
Weakening the Flu Virus
A 2010 study by Environmental Health stated that the influenza virus can live longer in the air and on surfaces according to humidity levels. Its life was shortest in a humidity range between 40% and 60%. The study concluded that humidifiers can be an effective method to reduce the survival of the virus indoors.
Protecting Indoor Environment
A humidifier helps mitigate the many annoyances and damage caused by winter heating, such as static electricity, peeling wallpaper, and paint and furniture cracks.
Features to Consider When Buying a Cool-Mist Humidifier for Baby
Here are some important things to keep in mind when choosing a cool-mist humidifier.
Ease of Cleaning
Cleaning a humidifier properly is something you’ll be doing every week or more frequently. It’s extremely important for a baby’s health.
Mold and mildew can grow rapidly wherever there’s moisture or steam. Using a dirty humidifier can mean breathing in highly dangerous mold spores.
A good cool-mist humidifier should give you full access to every part touched by the steam. Hard-to-reach nooks and crannies allow mold and bacteria to grow.
Ease of Filling
A cool-mist humidifier will need to be refilled every one to two days. How easily can you open and close the lid?
Can you fit your tank in the sink? This makes for easier refilling and less spillage. Will you have to bring water to the tank? If spills can damage your furniture or floor, you’ll need to have protective covers or towels in place.
A humidifier usually runs at night while both you and your baby are asleep. A model that automatically shuts off when the tank runs out of water is ideal for energy efficiency and safety.
Some cool-mist humidifiers can emit relatively loud noises, especially the evaporative type because of its fan. Some people find this a soothing white noise. Others find it disruptive.
Some cool-mist humidifiers come with optional night lights that you can turn on or off. Others emit a faint light that can’t be turned off.
Do You Need a Cool-Mist Humidifier Only in Winter?
You may need a humidifier in summer if you live in an extremely hot climate where air conditioning is necessary.
If you live somewhere where winter is warm enough to maintain 30-60% humidity levels indoors, you don’t need a humidifier.
If you live in a place where the summer is cool and wet and you don’t need an air conditioner, you probably don’t need a humidifier.
Keep in mind that if indoor humidity levels go above the ideal 30-60%, you’ll need a dehumidifier.
Obtaining a hygrometer is a great idea so you can always be aware of the humidity levels in your home.
Does the Type of Water Matter?
Distilled water is better than both filtered and tap water, especially if your tap water is hard.
There are three reasons behind this:
- To avoid residue and scale buildup from the minerals and particles in untreated water
- To avoid white dust on your furniture if you use an ultrasonic humidifier
- To give you filter a longer life if you use an evaporative humidifier
Reviews For The Best Cool Mist Humidifier For Babies
Here’s a quick look at five different humidifiers for your baby’s room.
1. Honeywell HCM350W Cool-Mist Humidifier – Top Pick
This one-gallon three-speed evaporative humidifier runs up to 24 hours on the lowest setting. It’s ideal for bedrooms and medium-sized rooms or up to 400 square feet. The patented UV technology kills 99.9% of bacteria, mold, fungus, and viruses in the water.
With evaporative technology, the filter absorbs the water and traps any contaminants. The water then evaporates and comes out of the nozzle as particle-free mist. You don’t need to worry about humidity exceeding ideal levels either.
It also comes with Honeywell Replacement Filters that are treated with Protec Antimicrobial that prohibits up to 99.99% of mold growth on the filter. The fan produces a noise that can double as white noise.
Both tank and tray are dishwasher-safe. You can also purchase the Honeywell Humidity Monitor that displays humidity and temperature and the Protec Cleaning Ball that works with all humidifiers.
- Easy to fill and clean thanks to wide tank opening
- Easy to carry with large recessed handle
- Can use unfiltered tap water
- Performance may decline as filter ages
- Filters can be expensive
- No settings for precise humidity level
2. Crane Adorable Cool-Mist Humidifier – Runner-Up
This award-winning ultrasonic cool-mist humidifier offers variable output settings and an adjustable 360-degree mist lid, so it’s easy to send the mist in all directions. The mist output works in rooms up to 500 square feet, which is a standard medium to large-sized room.
This humidifier is made with clean control antimicrobial material, which reduces mold and bacteria growth by up to 99.96%. It can run for up to a full day and automatically shuts off when the water runs out.
Its one-gallon tank fits under a standard kitchen or bathroom sink and has an easy-to-carry handle at the top.
This BPA-free humidifier is compact, more energy-efficient than a house lightbulb, and filter-free. If you have excessive minerals in your water, the manufacturer offers an optional demineralization filter that screws directly into the tank.
- Easy to clean
- Detachable water level sensor and cap for more cleanliness
- Child-friendly animal designs
- Limited suitable surfaces
- Some may find it difficult to open
- Requires distilled water to avoid white water
3. FridaBaby 3-In-1 Humidifier
This ultrasonic cool-mist humidifier turns water into a cool hydrating mist that runs for up to 12 hours. You can adjust the mist from gentle mist to tropical rainforest with a twist of the knob. All humidity levels available are safe for children.
Along with its lifetime warranty, this humidifier is also an optional three-in-one humidifier, diffuser, and nightlight but you can use each on its own if you want. There are no filters to worry about replacing.
The nightlight is bright enough to change your little one’s diaper but not bright enough to disturb them. You can set the humidifier to rotate colors throughout the night or pick one color out of blue, green, or violet.
You can add Breath Frida Vapor Drops or any your favorite aroma drops. With a 0.5-gallon BPA-free tank, this humidifier covers up to 270 square feet. The auto-stop feature ensures it automatically turns off when the water runs out or the tank is removed.
The input voltage is 24VDC. The power cord can be unplugged from the base unit for ease of use when you clean or fill it with water.
- Doubles as an optional nightlight
- Produces ample mist
- Lasts over 10 hours on high
- Hard to clean or dry because of the small reservoir opening
- Requires distilled water
- Not ideal for light sleepers because of buzzing, beeping, and dripping noises
4. Vicks Mini Cool-Mist Humidifier
This ultrasonic cool-mist humidifier doesn’t need replacement filters. Its 0.5-gallon tank can give up to 20 hours of mist on the lowest setting. The tank is also translucent for quick and easy monitoring of the water level.
This humidifier comes with adjustable mist control that allows you to choose your preferred humidity level. It also features an integrated Scent Pad Heater that allows you to use Vicks VapoPads for its soothing menthol vapors.
This humidifier’s quiet humming noise can also work as white noise. It also automatically shuts off when the tank is empty and is energy efficient.
It comes with a cord that needs to be plugged into a wall outlet and is rated for 110-120 volt outlets.
- Easy to fill and clean thanks to large tank opening
- Soft glow doubles as a faint nightlight
- Comes with sample Vicks VapoPad
- Requires distilled water
- Not ideal if you want full darkness
- Mold may grow in hard-to-clean tube and nozzle
5. Levoit Humidifier
This ultrasonic cool-mist humidifier automatically shuts off when it runs out of water or when you lift up the water tank. It turns water into a fine mist that flows through the advanced air duct and evenly humidifies its surroundings.
You can run this 0.63-gallon humidifier for up to 24 hours on the lowest setting. Its 250 ml/h mist output is effective in ranges up to 290 square feet. This makes it ideal for bedrooms, offices, and other medium-sized rooms.
The patented silencer and air inlet filter ensure the humidifier makes less than 30dB of sound, so it’s even quieter than a library. You can turn on the optional blue nightlight or turn off all display lights for complete darkness.
You can pick from between three mist levels. This humidifier’s small size makes it portable and easy to fit on a nightstand or desk. It comes with a detachable power cord, so you can easily move the humidifier around your house.
- Easy to refill thanks to large tank opening
- The red light turns on to indicate when to add water
- 360° mist nozzle allows you to adjust the direction of the mist
- Automatic shut-off may not always work
- Mildew may build up in hard-to-clean nooks
- Requires distilled water
After careful consideration of all five products, the Honeywell HCM350W humidifier seems to be the clear winner in all aspects.
With its evaporative technology, it helps ensure the ideal humidity level for little ones and adults alike without filling the air with white dust. It’s also easily portable and easy to clean.
The whirring of the fan functions as white noise, drowning out other noises and helping restless sleepers nod off into an undisturbed sleep.