When air is too dry, or low in humidity, breathing difficulties can develop. Or for those with existing breathing related issues such as allergies and asthma, low humidity conditions can aggravate the issue. Humidifiers can offer a great deal of relief to those who suffer from conditions like this.
In addition to breathing difficulties, dry air can also affect other parts of the body. Dry, sore and irritated eyes are one common problem. Also, skin irritations can develop which can include painful cracking and splitting or itchy and dry skin. A humidifier can help by adding moisture to the air which keeps humidity at a safe, healthy level.
Another way in which humidifiers can assist with health issues is during cold winters. If you live in a cold climate, it may result in very dry, low humidity conditions. These uncomfortably low humidity levels common in colder climates can cause many health-related problems.
A humidifier for allergies and asthma sufferers can also help with keeping your skin in good condition during the drier months. As such, using a humidifier is definitely worth considering if you suffer from any issues like this.
The Different Types of Humidifiers
Humidifiers come in different designs but generally fall into three unique categories. They are Warm Mist, Cool Mist, and Ultrasonic. Here is a detailed look at each different type.
1. Warm Mist Humidifier
Just as the name suggests, this type of humidifier produces a warm, soothing mist. This mist you can actually see and feel, and this is a good product for treating colds and flu.
Although the warm mist variety requires more frequent cleaning, they operate quietly. In fact, a warm mist humidifier is much quieter than the cool mist style.
However, the hot steam produced by this kind of humidifier can increase the temperature of a room. The mist may also be harmful if it makes direct contact with skin, particularly the facial area.
2. Cool Mist Humidifier
The way in which a cool mist humidifier works is that it traps minerals and impurities in a filter. Then a cool, invisible mist is evaporated into the air.
This style of evaporative humidifier is much easier to clean and keep clean. Plus, they are effective when used in warm climates as well as in large rooms or areas.
Cool mist humidifiers are louder in operation than warm mist varieties. Also, they need more maintenance which means frequent filter changes to prevent bacteria from developing.
3. Ultrasonic Humidifier
This type of humidifier uses a metal diaphragm which vibrates at an ultrasonic (very high) frequency. This creates droplets of water out of an onboard water tank that a fan sends into the air.
The ultrasonic style of humidifier is one of the more quiet types and the moisture it produces resembles a cool fog. Tap water tends to result in the formation of a white dust so distilled, bottled or filtered water works best.
In addition to being easy to keep clean and operate, this style also requires far less maintenance. They can also provide humidity control to quite larger areas.
The Different Sizes/Styles of Humidifiers
1. Room Humidifiers
A room humidifier is a unit that is designed specifically to regulate the humidity in the space of a room or portion of a room. These humidifiers are generally smaller in size and portable.
Sizes range from small table-top designs up to and including large floor-mounted units. Typically any room humidifier is considered portable as it can be moved from one place to another.
2. Whole House Humidifier
There is a difference between whole house humidifiers and the type that can be joined as part of the HVAC system of a home. But they both provide large area coverage.
Because a whole house unit is so large, it is not really designed to be easily moved from one area of the home to another. However, with tanks in the 5-gallon range, refilling is less frequent.
With the size of this style of humidifier, cleaning will be required at least weekly. Also, filters and wicks will generally have to be replaced at least quarterly.
3. Furnace Humidifiers
Furnace humidifiers are permanent units. They are usually installed in large homes or commercial buildings along with a forced-air furnace.
Of the furnace humidifiers, there are different types that use forced-air. They include drum, disc wheel, by-pass flow-through, and steam. The names generally explain the type of technology used in providing the moisture that regulates humidity levels.
For more information about the best furnace humidifiers, click here.
Our Picks of the Best Humidifier for Asthma and Allergies
Now that you have an understanding of what a humidifier can do, and the different types available, let’s look at a few of them. These are our top picks for the best humidifiers for allergies and sinus and asthma relief.
Honeywell UV Germ Free Cool Moisture Humidifier
This unit emits soothing, invisible moisture into the air and is fully adjustable. This bundle comes complete with the humidifier and a replacement filter.
The Honeywell humidifier uses what the manufacturer calls QuietCare Performance. In other words, the operation of this unit is 25-percent quieter than evaporative humidifiers made by other manufacturers.
You can adjust the speed (three settings) which also has an adjustment on the moisture output and sound level. This humidifier will run continuously up to 24 hours per filling when at the lowest setting.
The filter uses a wicking method to remove water impurities with a UV light that kills germs. It is a good humidifier for asthma sufferers.
The unit itself is portable and comes in either white or black. The contemporary, stylish design allows this humidifier to sit anywhere in your home or office and appear to fit into the décor.
- Quiet operation
- The cool mist does not change room temperature
- Filter lasts a long time between replacements
- Easy to set up and use
- Large and bulky size
- Difficult to move from one area to another
Vicks Germ Free Warm Mist Humidifier
Vicks has designed this humidifier with an ultraviolet chamber that is reported to kill up to 99.999% of bacteria, spores, and mold.
It has a see-through design so you can visually identify how much water is in the tanks. The settings are on the front and are easy to operate and understand.
The soft handles built into the design of this unit makes the dual tanks easy to remove and easy to refill in your household sink. Once filled, this humidifier will provide quiet, warm mist operation for up to 24 hours.
One feature makes this a good humidifier for allergies and sinusis the adjustable knob which allows for several different settings to assist with humidity level control.
- Extremely quiet operation
- Works fast in controlling humidity
- Design is user-friendly with two small tanks that easily fit any size sink
- Filter requires frequent replacement with continual use
- Requires regular cleaning
Humidifier for Allergies by JZK
This product features a lot of extras including a night light, automatic safety shut off, USB cord, a filter and a power adaptor. It emits a good stream of moisture into the air and has an easy to operate design.
It could easily be considered one of the best humidifiers for allergies. That’s because of how the moisture is fed into the air with a gentle misting action.
The mist is sent from the top of this stylish, round fish bowl-designed product. It is see-through so you can tell how much water remains in the tank with just a glance.
What makes this particular product stand out is that it comes complete with a lifetime guarantee. The manufacturer states that a free replacement humidifier will be sent to you should you encounter any kind of problem.
- Quiet operation
- Compact design, portable, can go almost anywhere
- Easy to clean and keep clean
- Works well
- As it is made from plastic, the product may look cheap to some users
- Has an unusual fish-bowl shape
TaoTronics Ultrasonic Humidifier
Using an extra fine ceramic filter, this ultrasonic humidifier filters water removing bacteria and odor leaving behind a clean and pure water vapor.
The design of this product is unique in that it features two 360-degree rotatable mist nozzles which allow you to send mist into two different locations at the same time.
The unit itself has a unique look and is see-through so you can identify how much water remains in the tank. The base of the humidifier is white and will fit any décor.
The control knob lets you adjust how much mist is sent into the air. There is an automatic shut off when it detects water is low. Low water is indicated by a red LED light.
The large 3.5-litre tank provides up to 10 hours of uninterrupted misting. This will bring relief making this one of the best humidifiers for allergy sufferers.
- Simple to use
- Dual-misting nozzles provide double coverage in two different places
- Control knob is not exact for output levels
- Refilling can be a challenge to the uneven top design
Honeywell HCM-6009 Cool Moisture Console Humidifier
This humidifier has a built-in humidistat which automatically turns the unit on or off to maintain preset humidity levels.
With an unusual design that resembles a large kidney bean on its side, this unit features several venting slats. The slats virtually wrap around the unit giving it a high-tech look.
There are two water tanks that contain large openings for ease of filling and cleaning. The fully adjustable range of operation includes three different speed settings which also affect moisture output and sound levels.
The wicking filter removes water impurities. This specific model is designed for use in extra large rooms or multiple areas.
- Well-built, sturdy construction
- Tanks are easy to remove, clean, fill and replace
- Smaller size makes for easy cleaning of the entire unit
- Auto shut-off when water runs out
- Louder than expected when operated at the highest speed
- The air is fed into a room from the bottom of the unit
AirCare MA1201 Whole-House Evaporative Humidifier
This console-style whole-house humidifier will provide coverage in an area of up to 3,600 square feet. It has a digital humidistat which will keep humidity controlled with a high degree of accuracy.
The built-in humidistat also means the unit will automatically shut off when the pre-set temperature is reached. It also has an auto shut-off function that activates when water is low in the reservoir.
An evaporative wick traps mineral deposits making this humidifier easy to clean and operate.
- Humidifies a lot of areas
- Quiet operation with no belts, wheels or pulleys
- Easy to use and set up for use
- Filter needs replacement more frequently than the suggested 6 months
- CF (change filter) warning not as accurate as it could be
Improving The Air You Breathe
Humidifiers are designed specifically to introduce moisture into the air we breathe. This improves air quality when the conditions are on the lower end of the humidity scale.
As anyone with breathing conditions can attest, drier air can cause more issues for those with sensitivities. When you suffer from allergies or asthma, being able to regulate humidity can allow you to breathe easier.
If you are looking for the best humidifier for asthma and allergies, make sure that you check out the humidifiers mentioned above. They can give you relief quickly and easily.