Growing up, winter meant seasonal allergies and painful, annoying eczema. The low humidity left my skin dry, cracking, and not to mention, rough.
My eczema didn’t just hurt when I tried moving the parts of my hands it has affected, but it also embarrassed me whenever someone tried to hold my hands.
Luckily, I discovered that -along with medication- improving the air quality in my home helped alleviate my eczema symptoms. This happened when I started using a humidifier.
If you also suffer from eczema, then this article will help you find the best humidifier for eczema. I’ll be reviewing the top 5 humidifiers for eczema and sharing a buying guide to help you land the best deal.
Table of Contents
What Is Eczema?
Contrary to what you might be thinking, Eczema isn’t a single disease but rather a group of conditions where the skin becomes itchy, inflamed, and looks similar to a rash. In fact, there are 7 different types of eczema that we’ll talk about in a bit.
Eczema can manifest during childhood (such as in my case), adolescence, or adulthood, and it’s pretty common with over 31 million Americans suffering from some type of eczema.
I can’t stress this enough, but you (and those around you) should know that eczema is not contagious, which means you can’t “catch it” from someone else.
The exact cause of eczema is still unclear, however, researchers did find that people who develop eczema do so because of genetic and environmental factors.
To put it simply, when an allergen from outside or inside the body triggers the immune system, it causes inflammation. This inflammation is what induces the symptoms of eczema.
As you go through this section, keep in mind that eczema and its symptoms aren’t the same for everyone. Your eczema may not look the way it does on another adult or on your child. Moreover, different types of eczema may appear in different areas of the body at different times.
Eczema is almost always itchy. In most cases, the itch ranges from mild to moderate. But for some people, it can be very bad to the point of developing extremely inflamed skin.
The itch can be so bad that people scratch it until it bleeds, worsening their eczema as a result. This is called the “itch-scratch cycle”.
You might have all of the symptoms listed below, or only a few. You might experience occasional flare-ups, or your symptoms could go away entirely. Still, the best way to find out if you suffer from eczema is to consult a medical professional who can look at your skin and give a diagnosis.
Symptoms of Eczema:
- Dry, sensitive skin
- Cracked skin
- Inflamed, discolored skin
- Rough, leathery, or scaly patches of skin
- Oozing or crusting
- Areas of swelling
Types of Eczema
As I mentioned above, there are 7 different types of eczema and you can develop more than one type of eczema on your body at the same time.
Each form of eczema has certain triggers and treatment requirements, which is why it’s very important to talk to your dermatologist to determine which type(s) of eczema you may be suffering from, how to treat it, and how to prevent flare-ups.
- Atopic dermatitis – this is the most common type of eczema, usually starts when you’re a child and often gets milder or goes away as you grow up. Atopic dermatitis is part of what doctors call the atopic triad: asthma, atopic dermatitis, and hay fever. Many people with atopic dermatitis have the other two conditions as well.
- Contact dermatitis – this happens when you touch something that irritates your skin or causes an allergic reaction.
- Neurodermatitis – Intense itching and the scratching it causes are key symptoms of neurodermatitis. It typically affects one or two patches of skin and rarely goes away without treatment.
- Dyshidrotic eczema – this type of eczema creates small blisters on your hands and feet.
- Nummular eczema – also known as discoid eczema and nummular dermatitis, this type of eczema features circular, often itchy, and sometimes oozing patches. “Nummular” is Latin for “coin” since it can look like coin-shaped spots on the skin.
- Seborrheic dermatitis – a chronic form of eczema, seborrheic dermatitis appears on sites where a lot of oil-producing (sebaceous) glands are present, such as the scalp, upper back, and nose.
- Stasis dermatitis – also called venous eczema, stasis dermatitis happens when fluid leaks out of weakened veins into your skin, causing swelling, redness, itching, and pain.
How do Humidifiers Help with Eczema?
For lots of people, eczema gets worse or flares up more frequently in the winter. The main culprit behind this is dry air, which when combined with indoor heating systems, can seriously dry out your skin. As such, eczema acts up because the skin can’t stay moist on its own.
This is where air humidifiers come in. these machines are built to produce and diffuse water vapor or steam into the air, increasing the humidity level of your home/office atmosphere. So, instead of taking moisture from your skin, humidifiers provide dry air with an alternate source of moisture.
This helps prevent the triggering or worsening of eczema caused by dry air as the skin gets a chance to preserve its moisture and stay that way.
Key Features to Consider When Buying a Humidifier for Eczema
When shopping for the best humidifier for eczema, there are a few features you should look for so you can make the most out of your purchase.
Capacity and Runtime
How long a humidifier can run varies according to the capacity of its water tank. The bigger the capacity, the longer the runtime, and fewer refill trips you have to make.
Most small and medium-sized humidifiers are equipped with tanks with capacity ranging between 200 to 300 milliliters (0.05 to 0.08 gallons), which allows for about 8 to 12 hours of continuous runtime before having to refill.
Larger humidifiers, on the other hand, usually come with 0.5 to 1.5-gallon tank (1 to 6 liters) capacities. This provides around 20 to 60 hours runtime.
Remember, a larger capacity doesn’t necessarily mean a humidifier with a bigger footprint. Some humidifiers have a compact design with tanks that are rather wide.
So, be sure to check the water holding capacity mentioned in the description of the humidifier you intend to buy.
This is an essential safety feature that prevents overheating. Humidifiers with automatic shut off feature will stop when they run out of water or when you lift the water tank.
If you want to control how much moisture your humidifier releases into your home atmosphere, then you should get a humidifier with a mist adjustment option. This will also allow you to set the pace of how fast or slow you want to increase the humidity
5 Best Humidifiers for Eczema
The Pure Enrichment MistAire Ultrasonic Humidifier is ideal for small to medium-sized rooms (up to 250 sq. ft²) thanks to its 0.4-gallon (1.5 liters) tank and overall compact design. It can run for a maximum of 16 hours at the lowest mist setting, with a mist output of 150 milliliters per hour.
This unit is also a quiet one, operating at a noise output of no more than 30dB, delivering all the benefits of cool mist without disturbing you during day or night. It even features a soft blue light to help you relax as you fall asleep. Don’t worry, it’s optional so you can turn it off whenever you want.
The Pure Enrichment MistAire Ultrasonic Humidifier is equipped with a 360-degree rotating nozzle that allows for easy directing of the cool mist flow. Additionally, it’s BPA-free, ETL certified, and offers a 5-year warranty to ensure a risk-free purchase.
- Compact footprint
- Adjustable flow direction
- BPA-free and ETL certified
- 5-year warranty
- The LED power light can be too bright
Next up is another popular humidifier, the Homech Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier comes with a generous 1.06 gallon (4 liters) capacity, allowing for more than 50 hours of continuous use at a 60 milliliter per hour mist output. This means adding water less frequently.
Speaking of refilling, this unit has a 3.6-inch wide opening for simple cleaning and filling. The built-in fan rotates for 3 minutes after shut off to drain the mist guide tube and prevent molding.
Being ultrasonic, this humidifier runs near silently to avoid disturbing you at night. It utilizes Weaken Water Flow Technology to limit the noise level to 26dB.
Additionally, this unit features a dual 360° nozzle and a mist adjustment knob to help you create a comfortable environment that suits your humidity requirements.
As for safety, this humidifier comes with an auto shut-off function for when the water runs out or when you lift the water tank, dry burn protection, a waterproof IC board, as well as a dustproof sponge to keep dust from entering through the base.
- Large capacity
- Prevents mold formation
- Mist adjustment knob
- Has a dustproof sponge
- Refilling can be messy
The TaoTronics Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier comes with a sizable 1.06-gallon (4 liters) tank that lasts up to 30 hours straight. It operates at a noise level of 38dB, so it won’t be too loud for you or your family.
The built-in LED display enables you to monitor the moisture levels in the room so you can always keep it at optimal humidity. You can even choose between 3 mist outputs according to your preference.
As for nighttime, you can turn on the soothing blue nightlight or activate sleep mode that turns off the blue light and the LED display. Additionally, once there’s no more water left in the tank, the device will automatically stop working to prevent any accidents or damage.
Complete with a timer and a small footprint, this humidifier is as convenient as it’s reliable.
- Sizable capacity
- LED display
- Has a timer
- Convenient sleep mode
- Short power cable
This compact humidifier comes with a 0.5-gallon (1.89 liters) tank that lasts for up to 20 hours on low per filling. The nozzle of this unit doesn’t rotate, but it points upwards to deliver decent coverage across small and medium-sized rooms.
The tank is translucent so you can easily monitor the water level inside so you can tell when a refill is due. This task is made more easy thanks to the large tank opening that reduces spills.
Moreover, this unit features a built-in scent pad heater that allows you to enjoy the soothing scent from Vicks VapoPads. These are sold separately but one sample is included.
The Vicks Ultrasonic Humidifier offers a whisper-quiet operation that won’t disturb your sleep. It even has a built-in soft glow nightlight.
There’s also a handy dial knob so you can adjust the mist output, as well as an automatic shut-off feature that activates when the tank is empty.
- Easy to refill
- Has a built-in scent pad heater
- Multiple colors
- Can be a hassle to clean
Last but not least, the Honeywell HCM350W is an evaporative cool mist humidifier that can work quite well for eczema patients. It features a 1-gallon (3.78 liters) tank, which should last for about 24 hours on low.
As an evaporative humidifier, the HCM350W uses a filter to keep the minerals in the water from being dispersed with the mist. This helps prevent white dust formation, making it a good choice if you’re dealing with hard water.
These filters do require replacing though, so you need to keep such costs in mind. Additionally, the way evaporative humidifiers work means this unit is noisier than the other candidates.
- Minimal white dust
- Low maintenance
Choosing the best humidifier for eczema can challenging. This is why I included only the top-performing humidifiers on the market to make sure you end up with a reliable unit no matter what you pick.
That being said, I recommend the TaoTronics Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier as today’s winner thanks to its huge tank capacity, automatic shut off function, and adjustable mist settings.